HPV Treatment May Also Fight Rare Respiratory Disease

INO-3106 from Inovio reduced the need for tumor removal surgery in two patients in a pilot clinical study.

The human papilloma virus type 6 (HPV-6) is best known for causing genital warts. Infection with it and HPV-11 can also cause the rare (orphan) disease recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP), in which noncancerous tumor growths form in the airway, causing life-threatening obstructions that can become cancerous. The tumors require removal by surgery, typically two or more times per year. The disease affects both adults and children exposed to the virus at birth.


A development HPV treatment from Inovio –– INO-3106 –– is also being investigated by the company for the treatment of RRP. In a pilot clinical study, two adults with RRP caused by HPV-6, following their last doses of INO-3106, have been surgery free for more than one and two years. A third patient with tracheal cancer positive for HPV-6 dropped out of the study before completion of follow-up. Based on these results, Inovio will be further developing INO-3106 as a novel non-invasive immunotherapy for the treatment of RRP for both adults and children.


In addition to INO-3106 in RRP, Inovio has demonstrated clinical efficacy of two other immunotherapies: VGX-3100 in cervical precancers and MEDI0457 with its partner AstraZeneca in head and neck cancer. VGX-3100 is the company’s most advanced HPV therapy (phase III). It targets HPV types 16 and 18, which account for most HPV-associated cancers.


Cynthia A. Challener, Ph.D.

Dr. Challener is an established industry editor and technical writing expert in the areas of chemistry and pharmaceuticals. She writes for various corporations and associations, as well as marketing agencies and research organizations, including That’s Nice and Nice Insight.