The NCI Division of Cancer Prevention's PREVENT Cancer Preclinical Drug Development Program supports preclinical development and clinical translation of novel cancer preventive interventions. One of the projects currently supported came from principal investigators, Drs. Reinhard Kirnbauer and Richard Roden, who requested cGMP production of a novel chimeric virus-like particle (VLP)-based human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, comprising HPV16 L1 VLP with HPV16 L2-RG1 epitope repetitively displayed on the capsid surface (RG1-VLP). The vaccine is designed to prevent infection by a broad range of HPV types, including mucosal and cutaneous types not targeted by current vaccines (J Invest Dermatol 2013, 133:2706), and thus has the potential to become a broadly effective next generation HPV vaccine. The cGMP process is currently being developed and validated by Paragon Bioservices in Baltimore, MD, under NCI contract with MRIGlobal. RG1-VLP is expressed in Sf9 insect cells infected with a triple-plaque-purified recombinant baculovirus. After cell culture clarification and capsid maturation steps, VLPs are purified by a series of chromatography steps to remove host cell derived impurities. The purified VLPs are analyzed by ELISA and Western blot immunoassays. Removal of host cell protein and DNA is confirmed by ELISA and qPCR, respectively. Assembly of a chimeric RG1-VLP protein into full size VLP structures (approximately 50-60 nm in diameter) is verified by transmission electron microscopy. cGMP-produced VLPs should be available during the first half of 2016. The PREVENT Program will perform the required toxicology studies and will assist with IND filing, for a first-in-human Phase I study of RG1-VLP vaccine. While the clinical protocol is still under development, it is anticipated that 15-20 healthy adult volunteers will be enrolled into each of three to four escalating dose groups. While the primary objective of the Phase I study will be to establish the safety of RG1-VLP, preliminary immunogenicity studies will be included. Immunogenicity of RG1-VLP will be evaluated by serum anti-L1 and anti-RG1 antibody levels as well as protective and cross-neutralizing antibodies against HPV16 and a broad panel of HPV types including at least one type not covered by marketed vaccines.
Citation Format: George W. Buchman, Brian P. Howard, Nadia Abdallah, Bala Medicherla, Mary Anne Fisher, Jonathan M. White, Michelle L. Kennedy, Shizuko Sei, Richard B.S. Roden, Christina Schellenbacher, Reinhard Kirnbauer, Robert H. Shoemaker. cGMP production of a chimeric virus-like particle vaccine for prevention of HPV-associated cancers. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2016 Apr 16-20; New Orleans, LA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2016;76(14 Suppl):Abstract nr 2367.