Glaxo, Merck Maneuver for Position in HPV Drug Market

Merck and GlaxoSmithKline both released news about their respective treatments for human papillomavirus Tuesday, leaving them "duking it out over what's expected to be the multi-billion dollar HPV cervical cancer vaccine market," reported CNBC's Mike Huckman.

GlaxoSmithKline said Tuesday a followup study to its cervical cancer vaccine candidate showed 100% prevention of precancerous lesions for more than five years.

The vaccine candidate, Cervarix, is currently under review by the Food and Drug Administration. The extended followup trial showed it prevented precancerous lesions due to cancer-causing human papillomavirus types 16 and 18.

The results also showed 68% effectiveness against precancerous lesions called CIN2 and 38 percent effectiveness against abnormal Pap smears.

Meanwhile, also Tuesday, Merck said it submitted an application with U.S. regulators to market its cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil for vaginal and vulvar cancer.

Gardasil is approved as a vaccination against four strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, including those considered responsible for roughly 70% of cervical cancer.

Merck said its new submission includes efficacy data showing some protection against additional cervical cancer-causing HPV types, and data on protection against vaginal and vulvar cancers.

The company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will determine whether it will accept Merck's new application for review within 60 days of its submission.

Merck said that in the United States, vaginal and vulvar cancer account for about 3% and 4% of cancers of the female reproductive organs respectively.