The human papillomavirus, known as HPV, is one of the
most common sexually transmitted infections in the United States and around the
world. HPV is passed from one person to
another by skin-to-skin contact, including sexual contact, and affects both men
and women. There are more that 120 of different HPV strains that can affect
different parts of the body, 40 of them are sexually transmitted and affect the
genitals, mouth or throat. Each year nearly 14 million people are newly
infected in the U.S. alone. Resent reports show that the U.S. spends about 4
billion dollars annually on management of HPV-related infections. There are two prophylactic HPV vaccines
(Gardasil and Cervarix) currently licensed in the U.S. for protection against
the most common cancer-associated HPV types.
Unfortunately, these vaccines only protect against certain types of HPV
strains, are only effective when is administered in teenage or pre-teenage
years, and they can be quite expensive and not accessible for women in most
Recent research shows that older women and
postmenopausal women are still sexually active, and may be more vulnerable to
sexually transmitted diseases than previously suspected. Estrogen decline,
caused by a variety of factors, affects many women and can cause vaginal
dryness. Unlike vaginal lubricants, vaginal moisturizers are absorbed into the
skin and exert their effects by replacing normal vaginal secretions. Moisturizers
can be taken regularly for treatment of chronic vaginal dryness and can help in
decreasing vaginal dryness symptoms. Development of broad-spectrum antiviral compounds to block the sexual
transmission of HPV would have great potential in topical microbicides, such as
at the University of New Mexico have discovered FDA-approved compounds that
show antiviral properties against HPV.
These compounds can be used to develop commercially available vaginal
moisturizers that effectively inhibit HPV infection and concurrently relieve
the symptoms of vaginal dryness.
STC has filed intellectual property on this exciting new technology and
is currently exploring commercialization options. If you are interested
in information about this or other technologies, please contact Arlene
Mirabal at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-272-7886.