Therapeutic vaccine for Genital herpes simplex virus-2 infection: Findings from a randomized trial

Academic Article


  • © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Background: Genital herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection causes recurrent lesions and frequent viral shedding. GEN-003 is a candidate therapeutic vaccine containing HSV-2 gD2ΔTMR and ICP4.2, and Matrix-M2 adjuvant. Methods: Persons with genital herpes were randomized into 3 dose cohorts to receive 3 intramuscular doses 21 days apart of 10 μg, 30 μg, or 100 μg of GEN-003, antigens without adjuvant, or placebo. Participants obtained genital swab specimens twice daily for HSV-2 detection and monitored genital lesions for 28-day periods at baseline and at intervals after the last dose. Results. One hundred and thirty-four persons received all 3 doses. Reactogenicity was associated with adjuvant but not with antigen dose or dose number. No serious adverse events were attributed to GEN-003. Compared with baseline, genital HSV-2 shedding rates immediately after dosing were reduced with GEN-003 (from 13.4% to 6.4% for 30 μg [P <.001] and from 15.0% to 10.3% for 100 μg [P μ.001]). Lesion rates were also significantly (P μ.01) reduced immediately following immunization with 30 μg or 100 μg of GEN-003. GEN-003 elicited increases in antigen binding, virus neutralizing antibody, and T-cell responses. Conclusions. GEN-003 had an acceptable safety profile and stimulated humoral and cellular immune responses. GEN-003 at doses of 30 μg and 100 μg reduced genital HSV shedding and lesion rates.
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    Author List

  • Bernstein DI; Wald A; Warren T; Fife K; Tyring S; Lee P; Van Wagoner N; Magaret A; Flechtner JB; Tasker S
  • Start Page

  • 856
  • End Page

  • 864
  • Volume

  • 215
  • Issue

  • 6