India’s first indigenously developed vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, CERVAVAC, will likely cost ₹200-400 a shot and be commercially available later this year, Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India (SII), said.
- CERVAVAC, developed by SII, was approved by the Drug Controller General of India in July.
- CERVAVAC is a quadrivalent vaccine, meaning it is effective against at least four variants of cancer-causing Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), and resulted from a partnership of DBT’s Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that supported Serum’s development efforts.
- Annually, about 1.25 lakh women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and over 75,000 die from the disease in India.
- Close to 83% of invasive cervical cancers in India and and 70% of cases worldwide are attributed to HPV-types 16 or 18.
- HPV transmission is influenced by sexual activity and age.
- Almost 75% of all sexually active adults are likely to be infected with at least one HPV type. A vast majority of the infections resolve itself.