INDIAN GOVERNMENT TO DEVELOP NEW HPV VACCINE

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The Indian government's Department of Biotechnology has launched an initiative to develop a new human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, according to local reports. HPV can often lead to cervical cancer -- the most common form of cancer in India, with more than 130,000 new cases reported each year and 74,000 women dying annually from the disease.

A large clinical trial will be initiated by the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) in New Delhi, involving 500 HPV-free women. The trial will simultaneously address several scientific issues such as role of nutrition, important biomarkers and innate immunity, noted government officials.

Vaccines using a virus-like particle of L1 and L2 capsid proteins and therapeutic candidate vaccines using E6/E7 proteins are being developed at AIIMS and the Advanced Center for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer, based in Mumbai. AIIMS is working with L1, E6 and E7 genes, which are known to elicit strong cytotoxic t lymphocyte response.