Agenus' experimental genital herpes vaccine has shown success in a phase II trial, the company has announced.
The recombinant therapeutic vaccine, HerpV, reduced viral shedding and viral load by 15% and 34% respectively, and Anna Wald, the study's lead Principal Investigator said that "these data are exciting as we are finally seeing that we can direct the immune system to fight this disease." A reduction in viral shedding is thought to be an important surrogate marker for clinical benefit in HSV-2 clinical research.
The CDC estimates that one in six people aged 14 to 49 years have genital HSV-2 infection, but most are not aware of their infection. There is no current treatment available for the sexually transmitted disease, but antiviral therapies can prevent or shorten outbreaks and reduce the likelihood of transmission.
The HerpV vaccine incorporates Agenus' flagship QS-21 Stimulon adjuvant, a key component of AS01, the adjuvant system used in GSK's RTS,S malaria vaccine candidate.
In September, Genocea reported positive initial Phase 1/2a results for their HSV-2 candidate vaccine GEN-003. Click here to watch a presentation by Dr Seth Hetherington, Genocea Biosciences on HSV-2 vaccine development.
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