Could a cure for Herpes be on its way? A promising new clinical trial for a HSV2 vaccine just opened up for human research testing and is looking for volunteers.
- Genocea Biosciences – Our lead candidate in HSV-2 is GEN-003, a first-in-class, protein subunit, therapeutic T cell vaccine designed to reduce the duration and severity of clinical symptoms associated with moderate-to-severe HSV-2, and to control transmission of the infection. A Phase 1/2a clinical trial is currently underway to evaluate the safety and tolerability of GEN-003. The study will also assess the vaccine’s impact on viral shedding, the process by which the virus can spread between people. Read more about the ongoing clinical trial here.
Their press release goes on to explain it in more detail:
- Cambridge, MA, August 15, 2012—Genocea Biosciences announced today that it has initiated a Phase 1/2a clinical study with its lead candidate, GEN-003. GEN-003 is an investigational vaccine designed to stimulate T cell and B cell immune responses to potentially reduce the frequency and severity of clinical outbreaks associated with moderate-to-severe Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection.
- This study is a double-blind, placebo-controlled dose escalation clinical trial enrolling approximately 150 volunteers with moderate-to-severe HSV-2 infection who are otherwise healthy. The study will seek to evaluate the safety and tolerability of GEN-003 and its ability to stimulate the immune system, as well as determine the impact of the vaccine upon viral shedding, which is considered to be a marker of disease recurrence and transmission.
- Unlike prior investigational vaccines for HSV-2, GEN-003 is designed as a protein subunit vaccine to induce balanced B and T cell immune responses, which may be critical for addressing infections not sufficiently controlled by the B cell, or antibody, arm of the immune system alone. The vaccine is comprised of two proteins, ICP4 and gD2, as well as Matrix M™, a proprietary adjuvant from Isconova AB.
- There is currently no preventive vaccine or cure for HSV-2, and therapeutic options are limited to daily antiviral medications or suppressive therapy. If approved, GEN-003 would be the first therapeutic vaccine for patients with HSV-2 infection.
We were actually made aware of this by one of our members. She was doing some investigating and came across this information. She also found out that one of the testing facilities is close to her in Birmingham, Alabama at the University of Alabama Vaccine Research Unit. The people doing the research told her that they need more volunteers for the study. Since it is a double-blind trial, half of the volunteers will receive the vaccine and the other half will receive a placebo. This is also a paid trial…you get paid for participating.
They are doing testing at the following locations:
University of Alabama Vaccine Research Unit Recruiting
Indiana University Infectious Disease Research Recruiting
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Recruiting
Westover Heights Clinic
Center for Clinical Studies – Houston Recruiting
Center for Clinical Studies – Clear Lake/Webster Recruiting
UW Virology Research Clinic Recruiting
Here is the LINK to all the locations and contact information. We imagine that they will keep the link up until all the volunteer positions are full.
Now, before you get your hopes up, just know that there have been other attempts at a vaccine or cure for herpes and they have not been successful. It is nice to know that there are companies still trying. To date, there is not a cure for herpes. That being said, don’t wait for a cure. Go out and live life the way it should be lived!