When will we see a cure for herpes?
Bryan Cullen, the director at the Center for Virology at Duke University is hopeful that a cure for herpes could come within 10 years.
Here are some of the most recent news, as of october 2012
a) T-cell Vaccines Could Treat Elusive Diseases
Genocea Biosciences promise to start clinical trials on its lead candidate in the third quarter of 2012, the Cambridge company announced Wednesday the start of a Phase 1/2a clinical study on an investigational herpes vaccine, GEN-003. GEN-003 is different from prior investigational vaccines for herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), said Hetherington. Rather than stimulating antibodies, as traditional vaccines do, GEN-003 is designed to stimulate T-cells to fight HSV-2, using a protein identified by Genocea to target the infection, as well as an adjuvant, called Matrix M2, for which the company has the exclusive license to use in this vaccine.
b) Coridon gears up for herpes vaccine trial
Prospects for a herpes cure are closer with Coridon signing a deal covering technology used in its experimental herpes vaccine, which is set to enter human trials this year. Coridon’s DNA-based herpes vaccine uses the NTC8485 expression vector. This vaccine was recently shown to be 100% effective in protecting animals from herpes simplex virus 2 during a pre-clinical efficacy study.
c) Another possibility to eradicate the HSV-1 variant is being pursued by a team at Duke University. By figuring out how to switch all copies of the virus in the host from latency to their active stage at the same time, rather than the way the virus copies normally stagger their activity stage, leaving some dormant somewhere at all times, it is thought that conventional anti-viral drugs can kill the entire virus population completely, since they can no longer hide in the nerve cells. One class of drugs called antagomir could serve this purpose. These are chemically engineered oligonucleotides or short segments of RNA, that can be made to mirror their target genetic material, namely herpes microRNAs. They could be engineered to attach and thus ‘silence’ the microRNA, thus rendering the virus incapable to keep latent in their host. Professor Cullen believes a drug could be developed to block the microRNA whose job it is to suppress HSV-1 into latency.
d) Antiviral Drugs May Slow Alzheimer’s Progression
Antiviral drugs used to target the herpes virus could be effective at slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a new study shows.
e) New Way to Target Viruses Could Make Antiviral Drugs More Effective
Scientists have developed a new way to target viruses which could increase the effectiveness of antiviral drugs.
f) Tansy May Be Used to Treat Herpes, Study Suggests
A folk remedy may be an effective treatment for the sexually transmitted disease herpes according to Dr Solomon Habtemariam from the University of Greenwich’s School of Science and Professor Francisco Parra at the Universidad de Oviedo in Spain.
g) Drug Against AIDS Could Be Effective Against Herpes virus
Scientists at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) headed by the coordinator of the Structural and Computational Biology Programme, Miquel Coll, have published a new study that demonstrates that raltegravir, the drug approved in 2007 for the treatment of AIDS that is sold by Merck under the name Isentress, cancels the function of an essential protein for the replication of one kind of herpes virus. This study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences (PNAS), is the first step towards the development of a drug against the entire herpesvirus family.
h) Map of Herpes Virus Protein Suggests a New Drug Therapy
The mechanism by which a herpes virus invades cells has remained a mystery to scientists seeking to thwart this family of viruses. New research funded by the National Institutes of Health and published online in advance of print in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology reveals the unusual structure of the protein complex that allows a herpes virus to invade cells. This detailed map of a key piece of the herpes virus “cell-entry machinery” gives scientists a new target for antiviral drugs.
i) Vaginal Treatment May Prevent Herpes
“One of the attractive features of the compound we developed is that it creates in the tissue a state that’s resistant to infection, even if applied up to a week before sexual exposure,” Harvard researcher Judy Lieberman, PhD, says in a news release. “This aspect has a real practicality to it. If we can reproduce these results in people, this could have a powerful impact on preventing transmission.”
j) Vaginal Gel Blocks HIV, Herpes
The gel is PRO 2000, now in large-scale clinical tests. It’s hoped that the odorless, colorless product — what scientists call a vaginal microbicide — will slow the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.