Grant awarded for trial of new HPV vaccine

Researchers with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences have been awarded a $3.3 million grant for clinical trials of a new HPV vaccine.

Dr. Mayumi Nakagawa, an associate professor of pathology at the UAMS College of Medicine, told that he received the five year grant from the National Institutes of Health Research Project Grant Program.
HPV is passed through sexual contact. Approximately 50 percent to 80 percent of sexually active men and women acquire a genital HPV infection at some point in their lives. The virus clears itself from the body naturally in around 90 percent of these cases. The virus persists, however, in approximately 10 percent and can sometimes lead to cervical cancer.

“Prophylactic HPV vaccines are now available but only work for women or girls who have never been exposed to HPV,” Nakagawa said, according to “The vaccine we are developing will be a therapeutic vaccine for women who are already infected and may have precancerous cervical lesions.”

The Phase I clinical trials, which will be funded by the grant, will include testing the new vaccine on a small group of humans to determine factors like safe dosage range and potential side effects before the trial is opened to a larger pool of candidates.

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