Guest article by Dr. Michael Chu
In recent times, newfound research has provided a pathway to finding a vaccine for herpes, with several large companies undergoing phase testing for potential cures at the current moment. Additionally, herpes vaccines have released in international countries such as Bulgaria, Italy and Japan which is favored by less regulatory rules as compared to the United States.
While there is not a sure herpes cure yet, there are various manufacturers creating herpes vaccines that can help to lessen the frequency and severity of people’s outbreaks and, in some cases, prevent them. Following are some of these vaccines and an explanation of each as to their effectiveness and usage. One such vaccine is the new ImmunoVex vaccine, or HSV2 vaccine.
This new vaccine, created by BioVex, is mainly based on a live, weak form of the HSV2 virus. This vaccine’s main goal is to eliminate the genes that allow the virus to hide itself from a person’s immune system. In this way, the body will be able to encourage the immune system to respond effectively and ward off an infection. Research shows that animals injected with this vaccine did not fall victim to HSV2, and researchers are now conducting clinical studies in London.
The Lupidon vaccine is a vaccine used in Italy and some other European countries. There has been a remarkable success rate reported with people in Italy who have used this relatively new vaccine. People, who have the herpes virus, need to take this vaccine about once every three months. Although many people have reported success with this vaccine, there have been some people who have reported little change in their condition.
People can purchase the vaccine in Italy for about 40 euros for about 4 injections, but they will need a doctor to prescribe it for them. The vaccines must be kept cold, as they are live vaccines. Typically, people inject themselves in the shoulder, and they experience no reactions or pain.
Simplirix, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, was an experimental vaccine that creators hoped would prevent herpes in women. However, GSK has decided to stop manufacturing the vaccine following a study of women receiving the vaccine. The trial, which began in the year 2002, included more than 8,000 women ranging in age from 18 years to 30. They were given this vaccine in 50 different sites within the US and Canada.
Although evaluations of the vaccine at the end of the study showed that these herpes vaccines were, indeed, safe for women to use, it did not prevent the occurrence of HSV 2 as hoped. GSK has continued to examine the data from the study and will present the details in the future.
The Herpevac vaccine was first tried out on women in the year 2002 in a study conducted by GlaxoSmithKline. Women in 50 different areas of the US and Canada were given the vaccine in this intensive study that ended in 2010. More than 8,000 women between the ages of 18 and 30 years old participated in the study.
Although the vaccine proved to be safe for women to use, it was only about 20% effective in the prevention of HSV. GSK is presently examining the results of this study and plan on releasing the results to the participants and the general public in the near future.
AG-707 is an experimental vaccine that Antigenics is developing to treat HSV 2 in persons infected with the virus. The vaccine works by triggering an immune response in the body. Antigenics are pleased with the results of their study, saying that the study has showed positive results.
The goal of AG-707 is to manage outbreaks and transmission of the virus among persons who have HSV. Their next step is to find a business partner that will help them move forward with the vaccine and make it available to the general public.
HerpV vaccine, manufactured by Agenus Inc., released data from its current study that shows the vaccine can successfully block the occurrence of HSV in both men and women. Further, the drug can prevent people without the virus from contracting it. It works by preventing the viral cells from reproducing, making the virus unable to cause outbreaks in persons with the virus, and making it unable to infect people who do not have the virus.
Although the vaccine has been highly successful, it is undergoing further testing before it can become available to the general public. The professionals at Agenus are beginning Phase 2 of the testing process, and if this process proves successful, they will then submit the details to the FDA for approval.
In conclusion, although there is no current herpes cure, there are many herpes vaccines being created with hopes of treating or eliminating the virus. HSV-1, which affects persons orally, in the form of cold sores can provide a barrier against its sister virus, HSV-2 from transmitting. Using this knowledge, scientists are moving forward with the qualities of the HSV-1 type to expedite a new method for HSV-2 prevention and cure. With all of the research and studies being conducted today, there are high hopes that there will be an effective vaccine to treat HSV in the near future.