Vaccine Info

VC2 HSV Vaccine

Authored by
Last reviewed
January 10, 2023
Fact checked by
Robert Carlson, MD

VC2 Vaccine Description 2023

Rational Vaccines VC2 vaccine candidate is a live-attenuated, engineered version of HSV-1. The VC2 vaccine targets facial, ocular, and genital herpes caused by HSV-1 but may also protect against genital herpes caused by HSV-2. 

"VC2 is unique in that it is engineered to prevent the virus from entering the neurons, " said Dr. Gus Kousoulas, who recently joined Rational Vaccines as Vice President of Scientific Affairs. HSV typically infiltrates a person's neurons and remains latent within the nervous system, and can reactivate to cause substantial disease. Some patients can even be asymptomatic carriers, spreading the virus through skin contact while showing no signs of infection themselves."

A clinical study: "A Study of the Characteristics of Patients Diagnosed With Recurrent Symptomatic Genital Herpetic Disease," will be led by Dr. Rajul Patel, consultant physician for genitourinary and HIV medicine at Southampton University Hospital, Southampton, England. The trial will be conducted at Southampton University Hospital and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, England. Last Update Posted: August 12, 2022.

Rational Vaccines is focused on revolutionizing the treatment and prevention of herpes to eradicate the disease. Led by a team of scientists, the Company is headquartered in Woburn, MA, with locations in Miami, FL, and Oxford, UK. For more information, please visit

VC2 Vaccine Indication

The VC2 vaccine candidate has demonstrated promise in the treatment of Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2) as well as facial and ocular herpes in several animal model studies.

VC2 Vaccine News

August 15, 2022 - Rational Vaccines launched a clinical trial to determine the baseline characteristics of patients diagnosed with recurrent symptomatic HSV-2. In addition to assessing the typical baseline characteristics of the population, the purpose of this study is also to determine the acceptance of clinical trial procedures and understand the interest of the target patient population to participate in a therapeutic Phase 1/2 HSV-2 vaccine study.

April 5, 2021 - Rational Vaccines announces a licensing agreement with Louisiana State University for a vaccine technology VC2, demonstrating great promise in treating HSV1 and HSV2. "We are so very excited about adding this incredible science to the Rational Vaccines arsenal and partnering with Louisiana State University in the fight against HSV," said Rational CEO Agustin Fernandez.

March 7, 2018 - Intramuscular vaccination of guinea pigs with the live-attenuated human herpes simplex vaccine VC2 stimulates a transcriptional profile of vaginal Th17 and regulatory Tr1 responses. 'Kousoulas said his team's research has demonstrated that the live-attenuated HSV-1 VC2 vaccine strain cannot establish latency in vaccinated animals and produces a robust immune response capable of completely protecting mice against lethal ocular and vaginal HSV-1 or HSV-2 infections. In addition, he said the guinea pig represents the best small animal model for genital HSV-2 disease.'

VC2 Clinical Trial Identifier: NCT05500053 - Determine the baseline characteristics of patients with the recurrent symptomatic genital herpetic disease. Determine the acceptance of patients of clinical trial procedures. Determine interest in participation in genital herpes vaccine trials.

Clinical Trials

No clinical trials found