Rights obtained from the University of Louisville and Kentucky BioProcessing will help produce a vaccine against a greater number of HPV subtypes.

Advanced Cancer Therapeutics (ACT) has inked two license agreements to advance development of its HPV vaccine. The first agreement, with the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, grants ACT exclusive development and commercialization rights to monovalent vaccines derived from the minor capsid protein (L2) of HPV. The L2 protein, in combination with the L1 protein can assemble into virus-like particles in various expression systems.

Under the second agreement, ATC obtains rights to Kentucky BioProcessing’s Geneware® plant-based gene expression system for development of an HPV vaccine. The Geneware system uses a specifically altered tobacco mosaic virus as a vehicle to carry a target protein. Once this altered virus is introduced into the tobacco plant, the natural growth of the plant causes the protein to be reproduced in larger quantities.

According to the company, this research strategy may yield a vaccine that provides broader immune protection against a greater number of the approximate 200 HPV subtype, as well as provide a more cost-effective alternative to the currently available options to patients.

“There is a clear need for a lower cost HPV vaccine with broad-spectrum immune protection against a greater number of the approximate 200 HPV subtypes, and there are indications that a plant-produced L2 peptide-based vaccine could provide a valuable treatment alternative,” according to Randall B. Riggs, president and CEO of ACT.

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