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Why bother with this herpes vaccine?

Today, I read that a man injected himself on stage at a conference with an herpes vaccine that is, as yet, untested in humans.

Aaron Traywick claimed that his herpes simplex vaccine which blocks glycoprotein subunit D virus was ‘new and could work’.

I wonder in what way his herpes vaccine differs from the one tested over ten years ago by the enormous pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.  That one also expected to block the glycoprotein D.  After many costly trials involving thousands of human volunteers, it was reported in the Expert Review of Vaccines that “the vaccine reduced genital herpes disease by 73 and 74%, but only in females with no previous HSV infection.” (And by age 25, around 6 out of ten females already have type 1 protection.)

Cancelled herpes vaccine trial

After all that testing (and money invested) GSK had to cancel the programme.  As one herpes simplex researcher who is prone to exaggeration told me “it almost bankrupted them”.

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So far, the many vaccine based on “sub unit proteins” have failed to deliver.

Marian Nicholson, 5 February, 2018

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