A small Louisville company now has the rights to develop and market a new type of cervical cancer vaccine. Advanced Cancer Therapeutics is in the process of developing an HPV vaccine, which would work differently than Gardasil – currently the only HPV vaccine on the market.
President and CEO Randy Riggs says their vaccine would target a different protein in the human pappillomavirus (HPV), which may mean the vaccine would have broader immune response. He says they’re growing elements of the vaccine inside tobacco plants.
“Basically we’re using its own system and incorporating the protein we want it to produce, as if it thinks it’s producing its own protein, but it’s actually producing the protein we want, which will then immunize patients,” says Riggs.
The research is being done in coordination with the James Graham Brown Cancer Center. HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer, and is also thought to be linked to cancer in the upper spinal area and lungs.