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UMSL researcher gets grant to study HPV drug

By Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – A National Institutes of Health grant will help a University of Missouri St. Louis professor and his company continue research into an antiviral drug to treat HPV.

Chemistry professor James Baskhin is co-founder of NanoVir, which was awarded the $3 million grant.

The human papillomavirus causes cervical cancer. There is no treatment for HPV, although vaccines have been developed to protect against two of its strains.

But Bashkin said that won't protect everyone.

"So even if vaccinated, it's possible one could contract one of the minor forms of HPV that could lead to cancer," Bashkin said.

Bashkin said the grant will help NanoVir move toward taking the treatment they develop into clinical trials with the FDA.

About 11,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year in the United States.


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