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Pre-clinical Development of Pentarix- a therapeutic vaccine for HPV-associated cancers

POC007
  • Project Leaders: John Webb
  • Institutions: BC Cancer Agency (BCCA)
  • Budget: $131,870
  • Competition: Proof of Concept - Round 2
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome BC
  • Fiscal Year: 2011
  • Status: Closed

Three in four Canadians will have at least one HPV infection during their lifetime.  HPV is transmitted skin-to-skin and in one of the most common viruses.  Vaccines targeting the prevention of infection by  two of the most common cancer-causing strains of HPV are in the marketplace, but they are completely ineffective for treating pre-existing infections, cancers and pre-cancerous lesions. This project successfully supported additional pre-clinical studies that would render Pentarix (novel therapeutic HPV vaccine against five strains of HPV), more attractive for commercial development. The achievements /results of this project have been key factors for the successful and ongoing development of the Pentarix program towards IND and subsequently clinical development. In Jan 2013, BCCA entered into an ‘option’ agreement with Wittycell corp. and Wittycell initiated national phase filings in jurisdictions worldwide. In Sept 2013, a license agreement for the commercial development of Pentarix was signed between BCCA and Wittycell. Wittycell indicates that they wish to have clinical trials underway within one year.