Vaccine Info

Herpes Vaccine Candidates

Herpes Vaccine Candidates

The development of protective herpes simplex virus (HSV) vaccines has been an ongoing challenge for decades. The herpes simplex virus exists as 2 biologically distinct serotypes, HSV-1 and HSV-2, which differ mainly by their mode of transmission, says the CDC.

The spread of HSV- 1 generally occurs by direct contact, usually involving saliva. And HSV-2 usually occurs by sexual contact or from a maternal genital infection to a newborn. HSV-2 infections can lead to recurring, often painful, genital sores

About 500 million people worldwide are living with genital herpes, and several billion have an oral herpes infection, said the WHO on May 1, 2020.

Herpes Vaccine Candidates In Development

  • HSV529 is a vaccine candidate that is classified as a replication-defective virus, where the virus possesses all the components of the wild-type HSV virus with the exception of two proteins UL5 and UL29 that are involved in viral DNA replication.
  • EXD-12 vaccine candidate is currently in preclinical testing for safety and efficacy as both a prophylactic and therapeutic vaccine for both Herpes Simplex Virus-1, HSV-1, and Herpes Simplex Virus-2, HSV-2. 
  • Delta gD-2 is a vaccine candidate based on an HSV-2 virus genetically deleted for glycoprotein D (gD-2). 
  • NanoVax is an adjuvant platform used in the development of a vaccine candidate that will provide protection against the two viruses that can cause genital herpes.
  • GSK’s HSV vaccine SB208141 is in a double-blind, randomized, controlled phase 3 clinical study to assess the prophylactic efficacy and safety of gD-Alum/MPL vaccine in the prevention of genital herpes disease in young women who are herpes simplex virus (HSV)-1 and -2 seronegative.

Herpes Vaccine Development News

  • May 6, 2020 - Newly published research is the first to show in a lab model that the herpes simplex virus HSV-1 might cause Alzheimer's. In the study, scientists found that mini 3D models of the human brain, when infected with the virus that causes cold sores, went on to develop hallmarks of Alzheimer's, including amyloid plaque-like formations and neuroinflammation.
  • May 1, 2020 - The WHO issued a statement saying 'About half a billion people worldwide are living with genital herpes, and several billion have an oral herpes infection, new estimates show, highlighting the need to improve awareness and scale-up services to prevent and treat herpes.'
  • March 2, 2020 - WSU researchers recently published a study in the American Society for Microbiology’s journal mSphere that is the first to identify how one of the virus’ proteins acts as a critical signaler for the virus to succeed in infecting a cell.
  • January 10, 2020 - Sanofi announced Phase 1 and 2 studies were posted. The primary objectives of the studies are: To describe the safety profile of different investigational vaccine regimens against herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).To evaluate the efficacy of the investigational vaccine regimens with respect to: the frequency of herpes simplex virus (HSV) deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) detection in the genital area (shedding rate) following a 2 dose vaccine schedule; the proportion of participants free of HSV genital recurrence at 6 months after the 2-dose vaccine schedule.
  • January 8, 2020 - Candel Therapeutics announced the acquisition consolidates a next-generation herpes drug development platform and manufacturing expertise that can be tailored to multiple tumor types and indications. 
  • December 10, 2019  - A recent study provides new insights into the early stages of a Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1) infection and serves as a general blueprint for the investigation of heterogeneous cell states in virus infection.
  • December 5, 2019  - A recent study said ‘a large burden of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is likely attributable to a Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection.
  • November 21, 2019 - Cornell University researchers hoping to learn ‘what’ switches this life-long virus between latent and lytic stages, may have found the ‘hidden’ answer to this question.
  • September 20, 2019 - A new herpes simplex 2 virus vaccine study in animals reported an experimental vaccine developed at the University of Pennsylvania has prevented genital lesions in 98 percent of mice and guinea pigs tested. Friedman and colleagues just published a paper in Science Immunology in which they describe the trivalent herpes vaccine that they developed and its efficacy in animal models. 
  • July 23, 2019 – A patent was issued on February 19, 2019, protects the use of BlueWillow Biologics’ unique NanoVax adjuvant platform in the development of a vaccine that provides protection against HSV-1 and HSV-2.
  • June 15, 2019 – A new study published in Nature on June 12, 2019, by Yale researchers offered insights that could lead to a better genital herpes therapeutic vaccine. 

Herpes Overview

If a vaccine program for HSV were implemented today and the vaccine was 100% efficacious and utilized by 100% of the target population, the annualized present value of the QALYs gained would be 28,000, says the NIH. Using committee assumptions of less-than-ideal efficacy and utilization and including time and monetary costs until a vaccine program is implemented, the annualized present value of the QALYs gained would be 7,500.

Most of the disease burden is associated with genital and CNS infections due to the large number of genital infections and the serious, chronic sequelae associated with the relatively fewer cases of CNS HSV disease.

The NIH estimates that there are 500,000 new oral infections with HSV each year in the United States. These infections occur in people between 1 and 44 years of age. There are approximately 20,000 new ocular infections with HSV each year. These occur in people between 1 and 84 years of age.

There are approximately 1,500 cases of central nervous system infection with HSV each year. The incidence was assumed to be highest in children between 5 and 14 years of age. It was also assumed that there are 300,000 new cases of genital HSV infections occurring primarily in people between 15 and 34 years of age.

There are also 1,500 new cases of neonatal HSV infections each year, says the CDC.

Content sources:  The WHO, the US CDC, NIH, research papers,, and the Precision Vaccinations news network. Content is fact-checked by healthcare providers, such as Dr, Robert Carlson.

05/18/2020 - 06:45