Brisbane, Australia, 28th February 2012 -- The board of Allied Healthcare Group (ASX:AHZ) would like to announce that its investment company Coridon Pty Ltd has embarked on the development of a next generation therapeutic Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. The program will be based on preliminary work by Coridon founder Professor Ian Frazer’s team and follows on from Professor Frazer’s work that resulted in the successful cervical cancer preventative vaccines - Gardasil®, marketed by Merck, and Cervarix, marketed by GlaxoSmithKline.
Coridon’s HPV vaccine has been designed to combat existing infection with the HPV virus, to prevent and treat cervical and other HPV-associated cancers, therefore improving on existing HPV vaccines by having a therapeutic advantage. Coridon will initially collaborate with the University of Queensland’s Diamantina Institute to test the vaccine in pre-clinical models that they have established.
Neil Finlayson, Coridon CEO said: “This collaboration is based on the use of our unique patented optimisation technology combined with Professor Frazer’s undoubted expertise and experience in vaccine development and Human Papillomavirus.”
Coridon is developing the next generation of vaccines for the prevention and treatment for a range of infectious diseases and cancers in humans. Coridon’s DNA vaccine technologies differ from conventional vaccines in that they offer both preventative and therapeutic value and have the potential to be delivered with a range of adjuvants.
“The work by Professor Frazer’s team at Coridon has significant potential globally to treat those patients already infected with the virus, something the current vaccines cannot do,” said Lee Rodne, MD of Allied Healthcare Group. “This is another example of the potential for Coridon’s technology in the prevention and treatment of a wide range of cancers and disease.”
HPV is associated with several human cancers, most notably cervical cancer. Current HPV vaccines, such as Gardasil® have proven to be safe and highly effective; however they are not suitable for all people. Furthermore current HPV vaccines are not therapeutic, and there are a significant number of people already infected with HPV and at risk of developing HPV-associated cancers.
HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world and, as well as cervical cancer, is associated with a variety of anogenital cancers and head and neck cancer. Cervical cancer is the second largest cause of cancer deaths in women worldwide. Globally, this equates to 510,000 cases per year, and about 288,000 deaths according to WHO.
In the USA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 26.8% of 14-59 year old females are currently infected and over 25 million people have the HPV infection and another 6.2 million people will become infected each year.
According to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, in 2009, there were 11,270 new cases and 4,070 deaths from cervical cancer in the USA. Medicare reports that approximately $1.7 billion is spent in the USA each year to treat cervical cancer. Although useful in a defined population, the two currently used HPV vaccines generate in excess of $1.5Bn in sales annually.
Therefore an effective therapeutic vaccine has enormous potential in both the treatment of patients and to the benefit of Allied Healthcare shareholders.
For further information please contact:
Dr Julian Chick, COO Allied Healthcare Group +61 8 9266 0190
Coridon was founded in 2000 by the founder inventor Prof Ian Frazer as a private unlisted company, to develop and commercialise patented technology for improving immune responses to DNA vaccines licensed by UniQuest Pty Ltd and developed at the University of Queensland. The company has laboratories within the research facility at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, working in collaboration with the University of Queensland’s Diamantina Institute. The company’s overall objective is to utilise its unique optimisation technology to produce prophylactic and/or therapeutic DNA vaccines for a range of infectious diseases and cancers in humans. Product development is currently focused on herpesvirus vaccines.
About Allied Healthcare Group
Allied Healthcare Group Limited (ASX: AHZ) is a diversified healthcare company focused on investing in and developing next generation technologies with world class partners, acquiring strategic assets to grow its product and service offerings and expanding revenues from its existing profitable medical sales and distribution business. The Company has assets from Research & Development through Clinical Development as well as Sales, Marketing and Distribution. Allied Healthcare Group is in the process of commercializing its innovative tissue engineering technology for regenerative medicine and is a major investor in Brisbane based Coridon Pty Ltd, led by Professor Ian Frazer developing next generation vaccines for global markets. Further information on the Company can be found on www.alliedhealthcaregroup.com.au.
About Coridon’s optimised technology
Coridon has 6 granted US patents protecting its codon optimisation DNA technology, which enhances protein expression in the cell or tissue targeted and results in an improved humoral response. The second component of the technology, also patent protected, is to use a mixture of DNAs encoding ubiquitinated and non ubiquitinated proteins. This strategy enhances the degradation of the protein and optimises T cell responses, while preserving structural epitopes necessary for B cells responses, resulting in vaccines with prophylactic and therapeutic potential.