HerpV (formerly AG-707)
Agenus, Inc, formerly named Antigenics, Inc, reported on developments of their experimental herpes vaccine, AG-707, now renamed HerpV. HerpV is intended as a therapeutic vaccine, designed to treat, not prevent, herpes infection. In the company’s fourth quarter report for 2010, they note the success of Phase I trials, noting that “100% of evaluable patients receiving HerpV with QS-21 demonstrated a statistically significant CD4+ T-cell response to HSV-2 antigens, and a majority of those patients (63%) demonstrated a CD8+ T-cell response. Eliciting both of these types of immune responses is a first of it’s kind achievement in herpes therapy.” Agenus indicates that the findings from the trial will be submitted for publication in 2011. At present, Agenus is seeking partners for the further development of HerpV.
Patent Awarded for HSV Vaccine Candidate
In early February of this year, the biopharmaceutical company Vical, Inc., announced a patent award assigned to Vical and the University of Washington, covering DNA vaccines for HSV-2. Vical is collaborating with both the University of Washington School of Medicine and the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development on the preclinical development of an HSV-2 vaccine. The vaccine under development is designed for the treatment of HSV-2, with the goals of reducing or eliminating recurrences and viral shedding and preventing transmission.