$3million Grant Awarded To Worcester Company for Herpes Vaccine Research

According to the CDC one in every six people in the United States between the ages of 14 and 49 have contracted the herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2) disease.

What Is Genital Herpes?

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Genital Herpes is an STD caused by two types of viruses called herpes simplex type 1 and herpes simplex type 2.

Fluids found in the herpes sore carry the virus and contact with those fluids can cause the infection. Herpes is contracted by having oral, vaginal or anal sex with someone who is infected with the disease.

Most people who are infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2 have very mild symptoms that go unnoticed or are mistaken for another skin condition.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Cracked, raw, or red areas around the genitals without pain itching or tingling.
  • Itching, Tingling around genitals
  • Small blisters that break open and cause painful sores.
  • Pain from urine passing over the sores
  • Headaches
  • Backaches
  • Flu-like symptoms, including fever swollen lymph nodes and fatigue.

Although there is no cure for HSV-2 a federal research agency has awarded a $3 million grant to BioMedical Research Models Inc. (BRM) for continued work on a vaccine to help treat the viruses linked to genital herpes.

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How Will The Vaccine Help Prevent HSV-2?

Stimulating antibodies and T cells and neutralizing the virus on the mucus membranes where the blisters form are BRM’s intentions with the development of the vaccine.

The company’s technology is composed of two parts, starting with a shot to prime the immune system and after a period of time a booster.

BRM reported that it plans to work on producing vaccine components under strict manufacturing conditions.

Among companies working on HSV-2 therapeutic vaccines, Angeus INC. of Lexington said last year patients given a series of its vaccine injections carried lower viral loads than people who received no treatment.

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Genocea Biosciences Inc. of Cambridge reported in March that an early human study of their vaccine showed reductions in the duration of lesions and viral loads.

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