Looks like Gardasil may be effective against more than just the four most-prevalent HPV strains (16, 18, 6, and 11): it’s showing promise against strains 31 and 45 as well.
HPV types 16 and 18, which are directly targeted by Gardasil, are responsible for 75 percent of all cervical cancer. But scientists found the vaccine also induces an antibody response capable of neutralising strains 31 and 45, which together account for another 8 to 9 percent of cases.
It makes me wonder how much mindshare (and possibly marketshare) Cervarix — the GSK competitor to Gardasil — will garner when it’s approved by the FDA. GSK is going to have to work hard to differentiate its vaccine against Gardasil. They’ll certainly have their work cut out for them, because you can bet Merck will be testing Gardasil against the remaining 34 strains of HPV (which makes up only a tiny percentage of cases) to see if it has any success there as well. If I were GSK, I’d be thinking about getting some more clinical trials going on strains that Merck isn’t playing with yet.
[tags]Medicine, pharmacy, Cervarix, Gardasil, HPV, cancer, oncology[/tags]