Since Genocea first reported data on GEN-003 (which would make it the first successful herpes vaccine ever) earlier this year, there has been massive interest in development.
This past September, a new player entered the field—Rational Vaccines (Rvx), which was founded by immunologist Dr. William Halford. RVx's Theravax claimed to have dramatically reduced genital outbreaks in 20 patients. Shortly thereafter, I interviewed Dr. Halford, to try and get additional information on Theravax.
You can find a table that compares the two vaccines here.
The table below summarizes the other candidates that are (or were) in the pipeline.
- Glaxo's (GSK) synthetic vaccine went down in flames, something which Dr. Halford does not find the least bit surprising (1).
- Sanofi, a major player in the vaccine world, has several candidates - all of which are too early in the development process to evaluate at this time.
- Admedus' DNA vaccine, which is being developed in Australia is one I would keep my eyes on.
Agenus' HerpV peptide vaccine is looking like it may join Glaxo's synthetic construct in the pile of biological detritus.
GenVec's GV2207 and Vical's GV2207 both perform well in protecting mice and/or guinea pigs against challenge with live herpes. Although animal models of herpes are quite good (predictive of human efficacy), these have a long way to go.
- There is little clinical information about Albert Einstein's live attenuated vaccine.
(1) Dr Halford on synthetic vs. attenuated live virus vaccines: "Live virus vaccines always work because they perfectly mimic the natural pathogen. Synthetic vaccines have an abysmal track record because they were based on a very naive premise put forward in the 1970s about how viral vaccines should (in the minds of uninformed men) work."