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SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — The startup’s pitch seems compelling, even commonsensical: About 500,000 women in the U.S. need surgery every year for precancerous cervical lesions caused by the human papillomavirus. The surgery can lead to devastating reproductive consequences.

Antiva Biosciences, a 6-year-old drug maker, is working on a first-in-class treatment that, if successful, could make that surgery unnecessary.

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  • This is great, but, if pharma has figured out how to reduce the viral counts for HIV/AIDS and for Hepatitis C why can’t we do the same for for HPV. Wouldn’t this stop lesions from occurring in the first place?

    • Personally, I wouldn’t take a systemic drug if I didn’t have to, especially for a problem that in the early stages is highly localized. HPV is common. One thing that we should NOT do is treat everyone who might have the virus when they are not experiencing problems. I have a cousin who developed this kind of lesion. The surgery rendered her unable to become pregnant. This might not happen today, but why take the chance, when a simple treatment like this can cure the lesions without surgery? No wonder women physicians get excited about it. As for male physicians who resist, I think they just like the power of cutting.

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