Agenus testing shows promising results for herpes vaccine
The vaccine is meant to treat patients who have genital Herpes Simplex Virus-2 (HSV-2). HerpV is comprised of a mixture of peptides for HSV-2 antigens as well as the company’s QS-21 Stimulon adjuvant.
The Phase 2 trial was randomized, multi-center and double-blind, which is the gold standard for trials. The majority of the patients had immune responses to the vaccine after they had received a series of vaccines and a booster dose at the six-month mark.
Over half of the subjects involved in the trial showed a strong anti-HSV cytotoxis T-cell immune response. These patients also showed a 75 percent decrease in their overall viral load. This decrease suggests that it may reduce the severity and incidence of herpes outbreaks as well as a decrease in transmission of the virus.
"We are pleased that the cellular immune response observed with HerpV vaccination is associated with a significant reduction in viral replication in the genital tract," Agenus Chief Scientific Officer Robert Stein said. "The fact that our vaccine contains multiple HSV- 2 antigens may contribute to its desired effects. We look forward to advancing discussions with potential partners to take this program into the next phase of clinical research."