The human papillomavirus (HPV) has garnered a lot of attention in the past few years with an increasing number of vaccines in development.
The experimental antiviral drug ranpirnase, which received orphan drug designation in 2008 as a potential treatment of malignant mesothelioma, may offer promising potential for the treatment of HPV warts. Preliminary clinical trial results presented at the American Academy of Dermatology 2015 Meeting found that 75% of adults (n=24) with external genital and perianal warts demonstrated complete remission following 8 weeks of topical ranpirnase administration The six remaining patients displayed at least a 50% improvement in the lesions. This study provides the first clinical evidence of the antiviral efficacy of ranpirnase in the treatment for genital warts caused by HPV.
Current treatments for HPV genital warts destroy the warts but not the virus, often leading to the reappearance of warts. Ranpirnase offers a new mechanism of treatment for HPV genital warts with the potential for complete clearance. It will be interesting to follow the journey from these early clinical trials to approval!