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Cervical cancer vaccine proves effective: Test results

Final-stage clinical trials of a cervical cancer vaccine developed by University of Queensland (UQ) scientists, have shown the drug to be 100 per cent effective.

The results of the Phase III trials were announced overnight in New York by international pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. who are developing the product.

It was the pioneering research work of Professor Ian Frazer from UQ's Centre for Immunology and Cancer Research (CICR) that led to the development of the vaccine.

Professor Frazer said he was delighted by the news and pleased to have been involved in the vaccine's creation.

"It is very rare, almost unheard of, to achieve a 100% efficacy rate in any treatment, so these results are truly wonderful," he said.

"It is the first time in the world that a vaccine designed to prevent cancer has been developed, and it has happened right here in Australia.

"It is very encouraging to see such great results coming out of Australian research, and developed in conjunction with Australian company CSL, and international pharmaceutical company Merck & Co.

"It is sad that Dr Jian Zhou, who was my research partner, passed away before the work was publicly recognised."

The vaccine is called GardasilTM and it is expected to be submitted for approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within the next two months.

If the drug is approved by the FDA as anticipated by the international scientific community, the vaccine should be commercially available in early 2006.

The trial is part of the ongoing phase III program for GardasilTM, which has involved more than 25,000 people in 33 countries worldwide in total.

Women aged 16 years to 26 years were chosen at random to receive a three-dose regimen of either GardasilTM or placebo at Day 1, Month 2, and Month 6.

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Contact: Anton Sanker
61-732-405-938
Research Australia
10-Oct-2005


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