PaxVax, UC San Diego sign agreement to develop genital herpes vaccine

PaxVax, Inc., and the University of California, San Diego announced a new collaborative effort on Tuesday to develop a combination vaccine to prevent genital herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection.

PaxVax will work together with Deborah Spector, a professor with the UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the university's Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, to select the best vaccine combination to take into trials.

"Dr. Spector and her laboratory at UC San Diego have carried out basic and vaccine-related research with herpes simplex virus and cytomegalovirus for many years, and have developed impressive vaccine strategies, which in animal models show encouraging safety and efficacy," Jonathan Smith, the executive vice president and chief scientific officer at PaxVax, said.

PaxVax's proprietary vector-based technology platform will be used to develop the vaccine. The company intends to use a prime-boost approach using its adenovirus technology in conjunction with booster antigens developed by Spector.

"Currently, there is no available vaccine to help prevent HSV infections," Spector said. "My laboratory has been studying various aspects of herpes viruses for many years, and it's gratifying to see that our work has been recognized and identified as a potential option that matches well with PaxVax's technology."

The financial terms of the agreement between PaxVax and UC San Diego were not disclosed.