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Study shows Hera Therapeutics experimental compound shuts down human papillomavirus that causes most cervical cancer

LA JOLLA, Cali., Aug. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Research presented at the 29th Annual International Papillomavirus Conference shows that a therapy being developed by Hera Therapeutics Inc. combats three types of human papillomavirus, including the two that cause 70 percent of all cervical cancer.

When tested in several cultured human cell models, HTI-1968 blocked the replication of HPV-16, HPV-18 and HPV-11 cells, according to Louise T. Chow, Ph.D. and Thomas Broker, Ph.D., who presented the findings at the Seattle conference. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the National Institutes of Health funded Chow's work at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

"HTI-1968 is potent and selective, inhibiting the growth of these high-risk HPV types. Dr. Chow's findings, though early stage, offer hope to millions of women infected by one of these high-risk HPV types, including two that are responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancer cases," said Hera Therapeutics CEO Karl Hostetler, M.D.. Currently surgery is the only therapy available to women who have persistent infection with these types of HPV and show signs of abnormal cells.

Hera Therapeutics is developing a topical, non-surgical approach to treat HPV, which could alter the standard of care while preserving structural integrity of the cervix.

Approximately 96 million people worldwide, men and women, are infected with HPV-16 or HPV-18, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Almost 4,000 women in the U.S. die from invasive cervical cancer each year, according to the CDC.

While cervical cancer vaccines prevent infection from the disease, they are not approved by the FDA for marketing to people over 26-years-old and have not demonstrated efficacy in people already infected with the HPV virus.

About Hera Therapeutics Inc.

Using a new medicinal chemistry platform, Hera Therapeutics Inc. is focused on the research, development and commercialization of direct acting antivirals for infections with the human papillomavirus, herpes group viruses, HIV and animal retroviruses.

Hera Therapeutics was founded in 2012 by Karl Hostetler, M.D., a professor emeritus at University of California, San Diego, who was previously a founder of three biotech companies, including Chimerix, Triangle Pharmaceuticals and Vical.

SOURCE Hera Therapeutics Inc.
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