MRIGlobal has won a $3 million contract from the National Cancer Institute to produce a new vaccine for the human papillomavirus.
The Kansas City-based research institute will lead a team producing the HPV vaccine for a Phase 1 clinical trial.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States.
The contract is for a specific vaccine called RG1-VLP, designed to fight 14 virus strains responsible for about 30 percent of cervical cancers. It showed good results in a 2013 pre-clinical study.
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Two other existing vaccines, HPV16 and HPV18, already are designed to protect against the other 70 percent of cervical cancer cases.
Roger Harris, MRIGlobal associate vice president for global health security, said the institute was excited to be involved in one of the first vaccine research programs supported by the National Cancer Institute to help prevent cervical cancer.
The contract award is through the National Cancer Institute’s Prevent Cancer Program.
The new vaccine was developed by a team led by Reinhard Kirnbauer from the division of immunodermatology at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, in collaboration with Christina Schellenbacher and support from the Austrian Science Fund and Vienna Science and Technology Fund.