GAITHERSBURG, Md., Dec. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- GenVec, Inc. (NASDAQ:GNVC) announced today that data were presented on its HSV vaccine program at the Keystone Symposia meeting on Immunological Mechanisms of Vaccination, which is taking place in Ottawa, Ontario from December 13 to December 18, 2012.
The company disclosed that a single administration of its genetic vaccine was effective against HSV2 in two industry-accepted HSV disease models. Specifically, immunization was shown to reduce viral shedding, and the recurrence and severity of lesions.
GenVec's HSV vaccine candidate generated effective immune responses in animal models; and is composed of two novel antigens, as well as a proprietary, non-human adenoviral vector.
"We have substantial evidence that HSV infection can be controlled by inducing an appropriate T-cell response," said Dr. Lisa Wei, Senior Director of Research and head of GenVec's HSV program. "The data presented at this symposium demonstrate the progress we are making towards the goal of creating a vaccine for treatment and potentially prophylaxis of HSV infection."
Research reported in this release was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under grant number 5R43AIO77147-02. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
About Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)
In the United States, approximately 40 million people are currently infected with HSV2, which is responsible for most cases of genital herpes, and 1.6 million new infections occur each year. About 25% of those infected with the virus suffer clinical symptoms. Even higher infection rates are evident in developing countries. HSV2 infection is associated with increased HIV infection and transmission; and further complications of HSV are also often seen in those co-infected with HIV. HSV infections are permanent, and result in periodic virus shedding. Although antiviral regimens have become a standard of care, their inconvenience, cumulative cost and potential for drug resistance further underscore the need for safe, new approaches to reduce HSV lesions, virus shedding, and transmission. Estimated costs of treating HSV in the United States alone are close to $1 billion, primarily for drugs and outpatient medical care. There is no FDA-approved vaccine for HSV.
GenVec is a biopharmaceutical company using differentiated, proprietary technologies to create superior therapeutics and vaccines. A key component of our strategy is to develop and commercialize our product candidates through collaborations. GenVec is working with leading companies and organizations such as Novartis, Merial, and the U.S. Government to support a portfolio of product programs that address the prevention and treatment of a number of significant human and animal health concerns. GenVec's development programs address therapeutic areas such as hearing loss and balance disorders; as well as vaccines against infectious diseases including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), dengue fever, malaria, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In the area of animal health we are developing vaccines against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). Additional information about GenVec is available at www.genvec.com and in the Company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Statements herein relating to future financial or business performance, conditions or strategies and other financial and business matters, including expectations regarding funding, grants, collaborations, revenues, cash burn rates, the development of products and the success of the Company's collaborations, including with Novartis and Merial, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. GenVec cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties, which change over time. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements or historical experience include risks and uncertainties, including the failure by GenVec to secure and maintain relationships with collaborators; risks relating to the early stage of GenVec's product candidates under development; uncertainties relating to research and development activities; risks relating to the commercialization, if any, of GenVec's proposed product candidates; dependence on the efforts of collaborators and third parties; dependence on intellectual property; currently unanticipated expenses, and risks that we may lack the financial resources and access to capital to fund our operations. Further information on the factors and risks that could affect GenVec's business, financial conditions and results of operations, are contained in GenVec's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which are available at www.sec.gov. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and GenVec assumes no duty to update forward-looking statements.
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