Dr. Lowry wins AAD "innovation" award

Apr 01, 2008, 4:00am

San Antonio - The American Academy of Dermatology awarded its first Eugene J. Van Scott Award for Innovative Therapy of the Skin and Phillip Frost Leadership Lectureship to Douglas R. Lowy, M.D., F.A.A.D., for his key contributions in the breakthrough research leading to Merck's human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, Gardasil

Key Points

San Antonio - The American Academy of Dermatology awarded its first Eugene J. Van Scott Award for Innovative Therapy of the Skin and Phillip Frost Leadership Lectureship to Douglas R. Lowy, M.D., F.A.A.D., for his key contributions in the breakthrough research leading to Merck's human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, Gardasil.

The award was presented at the academy's 66th annual meeting.

Dr. Lowy, chief of the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology at the National Cancer Institute's Center for Cancer Research, Bethesda, Md., discussed the development of the vaccine, as well as possible goals and remaining questions.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine in 2006.

Questions remain

Questions that still remain are whether the vaccine's safety profile will continue to be high, and the length of time the vaccine will protect against the virus, Dr. Lowy says.

One possible goal is to broaden the coverage to more HPV types.

"Thirty percent of infections are not protected by the vaccine," Dr. Lowy tells Dermatology Times.

Another future goal is to explore L2 polypeptide as a candidate for a preventive vaccine, Dr. Lowy says.

"L2 is not as immunogenic as L1, and it has not been tested in humans. However, a multiple-type L2 infusion peptide induces high neutralizing antibodies in rabbits," he says.

Lastly, Dr. Lowy also suggests eliminating nonoxynol-9 from spermicides, as it increases HPV16 infections in mice.

The $15,000 award for the Eugene J. Van Scott award and $10,000 award for the Phillip Frost Leadership Lecture were provided by Phillip Frost, M.D., F.A.A.D., clinical professor of dermatology, University of Miami School of Medicine, and former chairman, department of dermatology, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York.