Agenus finishes patient enrollment in herpes vaccine trial

Agenus, Inc., a Lexington, Massachusetts-based therapeutic vaccine developer, announced on Friday that it has completed the patient screening in a Phase II trial for HerpV, its genital herpes vaccine candidate.

The Phase II randomized, double-blind, multi-center study for HerpV will test the biological efficacy of the vaccine candidate as measured by effect on genital viral shedding following three injections of the vaccine. A booster injection of the vaccine candidate will be given six months after treatment to evaluate potential durability of treatment effect, Pharmabiz.com reports.

HerpV is a recombinant therapeutic vaccine for treating genital herpes caused by the herpes simplex virus-2. The vaccine is based on Agenus' HSP platform technology and it contains the company's proprietary QS-21 Stimulon. The QS-21 Stimulon is a novel adjuvant currently incorporated into 17 vaccines now in clinical development, including GlaxoSmithKline's MAGE-A3 cancer immunotherapeutic vaccines for lung cancer and melanoma.

The adjuvant is a saponin extracted from the bark of the soap bark tree, an evergreen tree native to central Chile. QS-21 Stimulon was widely studied in clinical development and tens of thousands of patients received vaccines containing the adjuvant, Pharmabiz.com reports.

Agenus, Inc., focuses on immunotherapeutic products with strong platform technologies and advancing multiple product candidates through the clinic.