Genital Herpes Vaccine GEN-003 May Work After All

Genocea GEN-003 is a Phase 3-ready investigational immunotherapy for the treatment of genital herpes infections (HSV2)

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The discontinued genital herpes vaccine candidate GEN-003 may have a new use, at a higher dosage.

New research found GEN-003 is clinically effective at doses of 60 µg/50 µg and 60 µg /75 µg for reducing viral shedding for up to 1 year in adults with symptomatic genital herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) infection.

Additionally, the investigators saw a reduction in lesion rates following administration of GEN-003 at varying doses of the study vaccine.

For this study, the investigators compared each dose in regard to the participants’ associated rates of viral shedding at baseline and following the 3-dose treatment regimen.

At baseline, the viral shedding rates were 22.2 percent for placebo, and between 13.6 percent and 27.1 percent for the active doses.

“GEN-003 reduced viral shedding for up to 12 months following completion of a 3-dose series, with the 60/50 and 60/75 doses representing the most promising combinations for further evaluation based on viral shedding and overall safety assessment,” reported these researchers.

Further research with a larger sample size may be necessary to determine the effects of the vaccine in specific subsets and demographics of the HSV-2 population.

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Genocea Biosciences, Inc, which developed GEN-003, decided to discontinue this vaccine candidate’s development after a phase 2 study during 2017.