Although the American people may not be in agreement with the policy, religion or benefits of a US border wall, there is something that brings together almost a quarter of the population Population: HPV. Currently, 79 million Americans are infected with the Hhuman Papiloma Virus (HPV), while another 14 million are infected every year. HPV is this wonderful disease that causes either benign (but hilariously embarrassing) Genital warts or uterine cancer that threatens life. More than 170 possible viruses can be labeled as HPV, while 99% of all cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV. In addition to this, a whole spectrum of other nasty cancers can emerge from an HPV infection in areas that are commonly used for adult entertainment. Every year in the United States, more than 13,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer, and these 4,000 women will die. Compare it to the 400 unfortunate people who receive HPV penis each year, while the rest is easily switched off with genital warts.
How HPV works
Like other sexually transmitted viruses, HPV extends through sexual contact to the genitals and other mucous membranes. The virus immerses in the deepest layer of the epithelium and feels comfortable and comfortable within the DNA of host epithelial cells. Unlike other viruses that destroy cells from the inside growing in massive numbers and burst from cells, these viruses spread when the epithelial cells of the genital regions overcome and They start to die, which releases viral particles. The particles happen to infect other bodies. The virus is not only for sexual intercourse, but also for contact with warts in the foot. If you are a hippie embraced in the tree that likes to walk barefoot, remember that these warts can break and release viral particles so that someone else is removed. Not to mention, these viruses can survive for months at low temperatures without a host.
These guys live in your junk. Credit: The Spinoff
Two types of high risk HPV, HPV-16 and HPV-18 are responsible for 70% of all cases of cervical cancer. These cancer-causing viruses work to adjust the cellular genetic code and pressure the gas at the stage of the cell division, forcing the epithelial cells to grow as crazy. The logic of this step is that with more epithelial cells in the cervical region, more viruses are produced and they can be further extended. Protein virus codes that cause cells to ignore any signal by slowing down, and the DNA of the cells begins to become a catastrophic disaster. At this point, the cells begin to transform into malignant tumors of cancer that eventually spread to vital organs and lymph nodes. Warts are formed from a similar process, except that the infected tissues never go beyond benign precancerous growth.
HPV and the challenges of cure
Most cases of HPV are asymptomatic, which means that there are no relevant genital warts to avoid possible Tinder dates. In addition to this, there is no approved way of detecting HPV in a person who does not show any symptoms, which allows the disease to spread like a wildfire unnoticed. It can take between 15 and 20 years for a woman to develop cervical cancer and even less than 10 years if the host has a compromised immune system, such as HIV. Other risk factors that aggravate the illness include smoking and co-infection with other sexually transmitted diseases such as contraceptive herpes.
The progression of cervical cancer. Credit: the Chinese University of Hong Kong
Companies like IncellDX, a San Francisco-based startup founded in 2009 with total financing of $ 9 million, is working to improve the diagnosis of HPV. The company has developed the HPV OncoTect 3Dx system, which allows users to quantify certain mRNA threads as biomarkers for cervical cancer cervical cancer, as well as determine if rapid cell proliferation is occurring Cancer cells But the FDA has not yet approved the trial, so it is still unclear whether there will be a reliable test in the future to check the HPV status of an individual.
Currently, there are three vaccinations against HPV available in the market: Cervarix, Gardasil and Gardasil 9. The problem is that there is still controversy in the medical community about whether the benefits of these HPV vaccines outweigh their disadvantages, especially in light of the suspension of Japan its vaccination program on concerns related to the safety of the vaccine, and other possible problems politically or economically motivated. Although they are effective, vaccines must be administered to young people before they are sexually active to make disease control effective, as these vaccines can not prevent the symptoms of # 39. ; HPV after having infected the host. And vaccines will only work with the types of viruses that are targeted. Since there are more than 170 viruses under the umbrella of HPV, these vaccines will not protect against all.
Market potential for HPV care
According to the WOrld Health Oorganization (WHO), it was estimated that 311,000 female deaths occurred from HPV induced cervical cancers, with 570,000 new cases reported in 2018. I Cgo in for Disease Control (CDC) It estimates that the total economic cost of HPV is $ 4 billion annually only in the United States. In the same study, the authors suggest that HPV vaccination for 12-year-old girls could save a lot $ 21,779 per year of the life of the person vaccinated. Surrounding fast maths are market potentials $ 12.4 billion annually if there was a cure for HPV. Let's see some possible immunotherapies and vaccines.
Potential healing for HPV
Founded in 1983, Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: INO) is a small Pennsylvania biotech company that works to develop vaccines to treat HPV-induced cervical cancer with a fair market limit 450 million dollars. Its main candidate, VGX-3100, is currently being investigated in a phase 3 clinical trial that began in 2017 and works using the patient's immune system to combat HPV infections and precancerous cells. VGX-3100 is administered in a unique process that involves both intramuscular injection and electroporation, a technique that sends electrical pulses to the injection site to increase capture.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals product device. Credit: Looking for Alpha
Inovio recently closed a license agreement with ApolloBio, a Chinese biomedical company, for $ 23 million Initial payment to continue developing the treatment.
Founded in 2002, Advaxis (NASDAQ: ADXS) in New Jersey is a very small biotech company that has a market limit around $ 25 million after an OPV in 2005. Advaxis is based on a new immunotherapy platform that uses antigen of recombinant proteins harvested in an attenuated manner Listeria monocytogenes Bacterial cells (more than viral proteins) to activate and alert the immune system to HPV-associated cancer cells. Axalimogene filolisbac is the main candidate for Advaxis to treat cervical cancers generated by HPV and is currently in the phase of phase 3 clinical trials.
Founded in 2011, the Hookipa Pharma with its headquarters in Vienna has received a total of $ 101.2 million in financing after collecting funds through a C series in 2017. The start focuses on a new platform that uses arenavirus, which are monocatenary RNA viruses that normally infect rodents, such as Vectors to trigger an immune response. (Our answer: iuck!) HB-201 and HB-202 are two programs that are based on the TheraT vector for the treatment of head and neck cancers associated with HPV, which have recently finished preclinical trials. TheraT is designed to provoke a solid T cell response and turns cold tumors into hot targets for the immune system to attack.
Founded in 2012 as Hera Therapeutics, Antiva Biosciences is a biopharmaceutical company based in the San Francisco area that has elevated a total of $ 56.3 million after a round of the C series in 2018. The company was initially taken over by UC San Diego. Antiva Biosciences focuses its antiviral technology on a topical intravaginal cream called ABI-1968, which completed the phase 1a clinical trials to assess its safety profile.
Antiva Biosciences product device. Credit: Antiva Biosciences
The cream was well tolerated in all the doses applied during the test.
Founded in 2014, PathoVax, based in Maryland, is a biotechnology start-up at the Johns Hopkins University that you have raised $ 5.8 million in financing so far. PathoVax uses a patented vaccine technology that is based on a virus-like particle known as RGVax. Preclinical trials show promising results, since RGVax can protect up to 27 HPV subtypes.
Founded in early 2018, Virion Therapeutics based in Philadelphia is a startup extracted from the Wistar Institute and has recently been raised $ 5 million in the financing of series A. The company's technology is based on vaccines against anti-HPV cancer that work by inhibiting a control point in the immune response that causes T cells to become inactive. Virion is developing this platform by offering the inhibitor using non-human primate adenovirus vectors to increase the efficacy of the delivery.
The HPV vaccine industry is a lucrative business, which can generate many challenges that go beyond science and medicine. Merck, the manufacturers of Gardasil, only contribute 1,700 million dollars in sales with this vaccine. But that has always been the case with the pharmaceutical industry and life saving care should still be an economically sustainable business. In fact, we can not agree with the altruism of Jonas Salk, the medical inventor of the polio vaccine that refused to patent his work and waived a potential of $ 7 billion. But until robots assume worldly work and universal income, everybody plays eSports all day, instead of working, we can thank the companies that work with our benefits to work with the task of discovering HPV care , eliminate the world of genital warts and cervical cancer, and making a few billion dollars in the process.
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