Biotech Startup Firm Says Significant Progress in Development of Herpes Vaccine: Really?

by | Herpes Vaccine | 0 comments

I’m all for treatments and cures.  I’m all for anything that improves the quality of life and reduces the risk of anything that can be sexually transmitted. But what I learned long ago is that you don’t put your life on hold waiting for “some miracle cure” that may or may not be on the way.

I’m not a skeptic… but I’m not a believer either. I try to look at the facts and to understand.


On 02/23/10 Genocea Biosciences announced that it had licensed a collection of patents from University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. These patents are related to the herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 2 antigens.

Based upon their technology and the patents they already have this puts them at the forefront for developing a herpes vaccine.

We have made significant progress in the development of a vaccine for HSV and believe this broad intellectual property portfolio will enable us to further expand our vaccine research and development in this area.


The source of this NEWS is a press release. Press releases are put out by companies to get their company exposure which will help further their business interests. Press releases usually include some of the best attributes of their business, also known as a “sales pitch.”

Doing a little digging on this NEWS did lead to some interesting information regarding this company, their technology, and their potential for making great progress in developing a “Herpes Simplex Virus” vaccine.

Business Week says that Genocea Biosciences’ technology allows it to test experimental vaccines quickly in a simulated version of the human immune system.

The company is located in Cambridge, MA and the technology was developed at the Harvard Medical School. This entire Boston area is a hotbed for biotech firms. In fact, the area is the number two region in the United States for biotech firms, right behind San Diego.

In November 2009 Business Week named it one of the World’s Most Intriguing Startups. What does this mean in regards to this NEWS? It means that their bold statement “We have made significant progress in the development of a vaccine for HSV” likely can be taken with some form of seriousness.

On the downside, it is a “startup.” They don’t have a track record of results. The company was founded in 2006 and from what I can see in regards to funding, it can be considered a small biotech operation with potential.

What this Means for You and Your Herpes (or Why I’m NOT Bald)

Let me put it in perspective. There is no cure for baldness. Years ago many people predicted baldness in my future. Friends made jokes at my expense. (It’s a guy thing.) Then along came Minoxidil/Rogaine. I immediately stopped losing hair so quickly. Then along came finasteride, also known as known as Proscar and Propecia. Another step in the right direction. Finally, I heard about the laser comb. It sounded interesting but I was skeptical. I waited. It got FDA approval and I bought one.

I still have a pretty good head of hair, while a lot of my old friends are bald.

What I didn’t do was any kind of surgery. There is no turning back from that. I don’t want to be an early adopter for something which cannot be undone. Too much risk for something that could always be done better in the future.

I had heard talk that “gene therapy” was going to let everyone have a full head of head by 2007. It never happened. It may one day… but it’s out of my control.

Simply by being aware of THE NEWS I have managed to keep nearly all my hair. If I hadn’t I would likely be bald today.

THREE RULES for Following the Herpes NEWS

1. Carpe diem! Don’t make what will or won’t happen your life. It’s out of your control.
2. Stay informed! There are many, many bald people who could have a full head of hair today if they had simply followed the news.
3. Do no harm! The placebo effect is proven, so if you waste a little money looking for the magic cure, no harm. And with a good product, along with the placebo effect… you may benefit. But remember, don’t take any big risks. When you come across NEWS don’t feel you need to be a guinea pig. It’s okay to monitor the NEWS and “do the math.”

Herpes vaccines are in THE NEWS! More and more there is talk headed in this direction. Stay tuned. You never know how simply being informed may have a very positive effects on your life!