Although herpes is far from the worst thing in the world, it’s not preferable to host any kind of virus in your body. Therefore, we will do everything we can to support HSV research, and encourage you to do the same.
This page will contain information regarding the development of upcoming herpes vaccines and potential cures. We’ll also include links for donation if possible.
If you have updates or information that is not mentioned here, please comment below.
As of August 2015 there are 6 clinical trials for HSV vaccines/therazines/treatments. Only the Admedus (Australia) trial is still enrolling but several are scheduled to start their next phase in 2016.
Anyone who is near a trial site and suffering from HSV should consider enrolling since it is the best way, short of becoming a medical researcher, to encourage progress.
1. (Update 5/30/15: Completed, Has Good Results and a follow-on trial) It should not be understated the importance of this vaccine having been the first one EVER to show a statistically significant reduction in shedding. The Genocea GEN-003 vaccine completed a Phase IIb clinical trial at A LOT of US sites. The phase I/IIa results were encouraging (though not long lasting). The released Phase IIb results were in line with the I/IIa trial: http://www.fiercebiotech.com/story/genoceas-herpes-vaccines-hits-mark-phase-ii/2015-05-20
Genocea is allowing anyone who got placebo in the first round to opt-in randomly to an active arm of the trial:http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02300142?term=HSV&recr=Open&rank=7
2. (Update 8/6/15: Fully Enrolled) HSV-529 (formerly ACAM-529): Developed by Dr. David Knipe of Harvard, being manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, and in a Phase I Clinical Trial at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD:http://www.niaid.nih.gov/volunteer/hsv529/Pages/default.aspx
(As of May 2015 it’s enrolling by invitation only)
3. (Phase II trial currently enrolling) Admedus is running a trial of a DNA Plasmid vaccine developed by Dr. Ian Frazer (of HPV vaccine fame) in Brisbane Australia. In the phase I trial 95% of participants showed an HSV-2 T-Cell response (though the correlation of this number to reduction in symptoms is not known).
4. (Updated 6/29/15, Fully Enrolled) An open label (i.e. no placebo arm) phase 3 study of ASP2151 (amenamevir) in Japan. This is a class of drug called an HPI that represent the next best shot at a better therapeutic for HSV.
1. (New 6/24/15) A trial of a snake venom based topical treatment called ZEP-3 in Natanya, ISRAEL. Appears to have had a decent phase I trial though efficacy is questionable so far: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02483182?term=Herpes&recr=Open&rank=13
2. (update 12/15/14: completed no results yet) Sublingual Ethel-Mercury (Thimerosal) on recurrent labial herpes. Beech Tree labs is in a phase 2 trial of using essentially an old topical anti-microbial on recurrent cold sores. They show pretty good success with this in a phase one trial and in veterinary applications. worth a shot if you live in Florida, Ohio, South Carolina or Manitoba, Canada as it seems to reduce recurrences.
Once a year Dr. Brian Cullen posts an update on his progress regarding an HSV cure. It’s decades away but also probably the only realistic shot we have at a sterilizing cure: http://cullenlab.duhs.duke.edu/faq/
Dr. Halford’s has a blog in which he comments often on progress with his vaccine and (his opinion) on the state of HSV vaccine research. In particular for the current crop of vaccines:
- Overall for gD Vaccines (GEN-003 specifically in the comments): http://herpesvaccine.scienceblog.com/2013/09/15/de-risking-hsv-2-vaccine-development/Agenus
- HerpV: http://herpesvaccine.scienceblog.com/2013/11/12/on-the-agenus-herpv-vaccine-trials/
- ACAM-529 (now HSV-529): http://herpesvaccine.scienceblog.com/2013/11/13/on-the-upcoming-acam-529-vaccine-trial/
1. (Updated 8/6/15: Completed, Has Results) A test of the effectiveness of Tenofovir as a gel and a film on HSV shedding. The gel was effective at preventing acquisition of HSV-2 but did little to impact shedding.
2. (Update 6/29/15: Completed, has results) The Vical (nameless) Vaxfectin Formulated Vaccine in a Phase I/IIa clinical trial. Vaccine was unable to show a statistically significant reduction in shedding: http://www.wsj.com/articles/vicals-herpes-vaccine-didnt-meet-primary-endpoint-1435007017
3. (Completed appears to have run out of money) A trial of Squaric Acid Dibutyl Ester on recurrent labial herpes. This is a weird one but if it works it should also work on HSV-2. Its hard to explain briefly but I did a write-up about it here. If you live near Boston and have a lot of cold sores it might be worth a shot.
4. (Completed, no results yet) open label trials of ASP2151 (amenamevir) in the UK given with various HIV drugs to test safety. These trials kind of suck. You get essentially two doses of ASP2151 and you take an HIV drug with the second dose to measure whether or not the two drugs together make you sick. It’s unclear whether having HSV excludes you from the trial (if you don’t say you have it they don’t specifically ask) but if a couple days of relief is worth the headache of a half dozen blood draws maybe give it a shot. It probably pays pretty well.
For further and updates and indepth discussions on Cure Research visit the Honeycomb Herpes Support Forums
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