Pharma Focus Asia

Rational Vaccines and Shenzhen Mellow Hope Pharm Industrial Co., Ltd. Establish Collaboration for the Development of Herpes Vaccines in China

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Rational Vaccines (RVx) and Shenzhen Mellow Hope Pharm Industrial Co., Ltd. (MH) recently announced a partnership to jointly develop, manufacture, and market live vaccines targeting herpes simplex viruses (HSV-1 and HSV-2).

RVx, pointed out that for more than four decades, various attempts to create a herpes vaccine using recombinant protein subunit-based vaccines have failed. He stressed that the data clearly indicates the ineffectiveness of this approach for HSV. Fernandez is confident that a live attenuated vaccine is the only viable strategy to combat and prevent herpetic diseases. RVx is excited to collaborate with MH, a renowned Chinese expert in the field, to address this crucial mission.

Virology at the Chinese Medical Association, expressed concern about the herpes epidemic in China and worldwide, noting the absence of pharmaceutical or traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) solutions for herpes. He praised the live vaccines as a valuable new approach to address this issue.

The development of these vaccines in China will utilize RVx's exclusive virus mutants. These live HSV-2 viruses, used in the vaccines, have been engineered to be replication-competent yet unable to establish latency in the nervous system. The body's immune system responds by targeting and eliminating the weakened virus. Additionally, the immune response induced by RVx vaccines holds the potential to protect against viral reactivation in individuals already infected with either HSV-1 or HSV-2.

These vaccines have garnered support from the US National Institute of Health (NIH) and have received the Innovative Access and License Pathway (ILAP) designation from the MHRA, expediting development and approval in the United Kingdom.

Zhuang expressed MH's confidence in the technology and associated data, stating their belief that these vaccines will significantly address the major public health challenge of herpetic diseases, which are often misunderstood and overlooked.

While numerous vaccines have been assessed for preventing and treating HSV infections, none have secured FDA approval. RVx aims to become the first to achieve this milestone.



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