The International Vaccine Institute, a nonprofit international organization devoted to new vaccines, said it acquired a $6.46-million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to test the effectiveness of a single-dose of HPV vaccines.
IVI said that it is still considering which vaccine to use.
Two approved HPV vaccines are administered in two or three doses: Merck’s Gardasil and GSK’s Cervarix. Both vaccines are effective in preventing infection against HPV 16 and 18, which are known to cause at least 70 percent of all cervical cancers.
But the HPV vaccines, when administered in two- and three-doses, can be costly, the IVI said.
“If one dose is confirmed to offer sufficient protection, it could significantly reduce vaccine and administration costs while increasing uptake to save more lives,” said Dr. Julia Lynch, deputy director general for development and delivery at IVI, who will lead the study.
The Seoul-based organization will work with the Thailand Ministry of Public Health to administer and measure the impact of the single-dose vaccine in young women in Thailand until 2023. The data gathered will be used to inform global public health policy, the institution said.
“Data of single-dose effectiveness can be highly useful in informing the most cost-effective approach to HPV vaccination and global public health policy,” Lynch said.
HPV is the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract that could potentially cause cervical cancer. The World Health Organization says cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women with more than 270,000 women dying from cancer annually. More than 85 percent of these deaths occur in developing regions, IVI said.