BioVex Begins Phase 1 of Clinical Trials for HSV-2 Vaccine – Media Sells Hope
On March 4th, 2010 BioVex issued a press release stating “BioVex initiates Phase 1 Clinical Trial with its genital herpes vaccine, ImmunoVEXHSV2.” What exactly does this mean for you?
First, I want to say that I believe in maintaining a proper mindset and a proper perspective when it comes to herpes. Much of what we read and hear in the media is designed to play on people’s emotions.
For the above press release, here are some of the headlines I found:
“Worried that your partner has genital herpes? Well, a new approach to a herpes vaccine might rid you of any such troubles.”
“Your partner has herpes – now the good news.”
These headlines do draw interest, but they are pretty misleading when it comes to the real truth about what “Begins Phase 1 of Clinical Trials” really means.
Let’s Put “Phase 1 Clinical Trials” in Perspective
“Phase 1” by its very name implies it comes pretty early in the process. Entering “Phase 1” means it’s the earliest stages of “Phase 1.” Look at the headlines above. I think they are getting a little ahead of themselves.
Making predications in “Phase 1 of Clinical Trials” is like predicting the outcome of the Super Bowl… five years in the future.
Here are the Phases of Clinical Trials:
• Pre-clinical Studies – Tube testing
• Phase 0 – Micro doses in humans
• Phase 1 – Small group testing in humans (Less than 100 people)
• Phase 2 – Medium group testing in humans (Less than 300 people)
• Phase 3 – Large group testing in humans (Less than 3000 people)
• — Brought to market here —
• Phase 4 – Post market monitoring for long-term effects
Separating “Real News” from “Press Releases”
It’s not that press releases are bad… it’s just that they are “press releases,” also known as “publicity.” Press releases and publicity have great value… but they are rarely the “news” that the media will make them out to be.
Here’s how it works, biotech firms issues press-releases. The story-starved media pick them up and create stories. In order to get people to read the stories there has to be a hook of some kind. Often, for the media, the hook is “selling hope.”
I look forward to a vaccine, as well as a cure for herpes. However, instead of investing a lot of energy on “hope” for what will one day be, why not put that energy into making your life better today?
LOOKING AT THE NEWS STORY
BioVex has entered “Phase 1 of Clinical Trials.” HerpesNews.com recently wrote an article on Genocea Bioscience’s February 23rd, 2010 press release regarding patents they had acquired. In that press release they stated “We have made significant progress in the development of a vaccine for HSV.”
I think it is an interesting time to be following the “Herpes News.” Progress continually is being made. However, people are very bad at accurately predicting the future and as such it’s a bad idea to invest a lot of emotion into what is “hypothetical.” “Phase 1 of Clinical Trials” is the beginning of a long road for BioVex and ImmunoVEXHSV2.
Here are Some Very Famous BAD PREDICTIONS:
Everything that can be invented has been invented.
Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Patent Office, 1899
I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.
Thomas Watson, President of IBM, 1943
This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.
William Orton, President of Western Union, 1876
True breakthroughs can come in a flash, and quite by accident. The person who created “Post-its,” the semi-sticky paper that you leave notes on… his goal was to be creating a super glue of sorts. Who knows if he would have been able to create “Post-its” if that’s what he had been aiming for?