A Novel Formulation Strategy to Deliver Combined DNA and VLP Based HPV Vaccine
Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are small, double-stranded DNA viruses that cause cervical cancer, the second most lethal cancer among women in the world. Currently, two vaccines are on the market for preventing HPV-caused cervical cancers and warts. Both are virus-like particle (VLP)-based vaccines. However, these vaccines have limitations; they are costly, have an invasive route of administration, require trained personnel to administer, need cold chain storage to preserve them, and most of all, they are preventive vaccines that do not have curative effects. Therefore, it is necessary to develop therapeutic HPV vaccines to facilitate the control of HPV-associated malignancies and to address all these issues. Recently there are DNA vaccines under investigation to prevent HPV. In general, DNA-based vaccines are better than or an excellent alternative to traditional vaccines since they can closely mimic live infections and can induce both antibody and cell-mediated immune responses. DNA vaccines involve the delivery of plasmid DNA (pDNA) which encodes the specific antigens. DNA vaccines have potential to be effective therapeutic tools against HPV infections. Combining the VLP-based and DNA-based vaccines can be highly effective as they can complement each other. VLP vaccines are more prone to mucosal immunity whereas DNA vaccines are more towards systemic immunity. In this article, we discuss an optimal formulation that will contain both type of vaccines, preventive and therapeutic. A film dosage form can be a good option which can be administered in buccal or sublingual routes for systemic action or in the vaginal area for local action to treat cervical cancer and to protect from future infection. Multiple vaccines in native form or in particulate form can be incorporated in film dosage forms. The film dosage form of vaccines can elicit both antibody-mediated (preventative) and cell-mediated (therapeutic) mechanisms. Film dosage forms are feasible to prepare for vaccine administration in the mouth cavity, GI tract, and vagina.
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