Monday, March 10, 2008

Potential HSV-2 Vaccination- NIH offers Grant for the Development of Genital Herpes Vaccine

Is there a vaccine to prevent Genital Herpes? Well, not on the shelves, but I just read about the potential to have a vaccine that addresses the most common STD- Genital Herpes. This is a huge deal and it will be interesting to see how the research and development plays out.

(Medical News Today) GenVec, Inc. (Nasdaq:GNVC) announced that it has received a Phase I Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to support the Company's efforts to develop novel adenovector-based vaccines for HSV-2, the virus responsible for most cases of genital herpes. The SBIR grant, valued at $600,000 over 2 years, will support work being conducted at GenVec, the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington by Drs. Lawrence Corey, Greg Mahairas, and David Koelle.

Work under the grant will focus on testing adenovirus vectors containing novel HSV-2 antigens. These vaccine candidates will be evaluated for their ability to generate the type of immune responses, CD8 T-cell responses, in mice and nonhuman primates that are expected to lead to protection.

"HSV-2 continues to be a worldwide medical problem, which also contributes to the spread of HIV," said Dr. Rick King, GenVec's Senior Vice President of Research and Development. "There is considerable laboratory and clinical evidence that suggests that host T-cell immune responses are critical both in influencing the spread of and the severity of HSV-2 infection. GenVec's adenovector technology is ideally suited for vaccine strategies that induce strong T-cell mediated immune responses. We are extremely pleased that this grant gives us the opportunity to work with the premier investigators in the development of HSV-2 vaccines."
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