Novel HPV Therapy Has Potential for Rare Respiratory Tract Tumors

Currently Incurable RRP Affects 20,000 Cases in the U.S.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s novel therapy INO-3106 for human papilloma virus type 6 (HPV 6) has demonstrated clinical efficacy in recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP). This rare, orphan disease can cause papillomas, leading to life-threatening airway obstructions. RRP can also progress to cancer.

RRP, which affects approximately 20,000 people in the U.S., is characterized by tumor growth in the respiratory tract caused by HPV. If left untreated, RRP can develop in the lungs, causing recurrent pneumonia, bronchiectasis, and, ultimately, progressive pulmonary failure. Symptoms are more severe in children, who are typically diagnosed between the ages of 2 and 4, than in adults.

The disease is incurable and surgery to remove the tumors, which restores the airway temporarily, is the sole option. Tumors always recur and surgery must be repeated, usually numerous times per year. 

The pilot clinical study enrolled two adults with RRP and one adult with tracheal cancer, all with HPV 6. Prior to enrollment, the patients with RRP were undergoing surgery approximately every six months to remove their tumors. However, since their last dose of the HPV therapy, both patients have avoided surgery, as there has been no tumor recurrence.

Inovio plans to further develop INO-3106 as a novel non-invasive immunotherapy for the treatment of RRP in both adults and children.

Source: Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., April 3, 2019