There arecurrently two companies developing vaccines for the herpes simplex virus (HSV), the first is a treatment for the sexually transmitted disease, the other would work as a preventative measure.
The first works on controlling the symptoms, all that is available at the moment is one class of medication that
helps to control the symptoms, while the second focuses on preventing someone from contracting the virus and therefore avoiding all of the related symptoms.
Presently, antiviral drugs are the only treatment that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), that people can take to treat this virus, but this may be changing.
How most vaccines work is that they build a tolerance against your immune system, as well as an immunity against vaccines.
This is what makes herpes such an intelligent virus, as it has found a way to bypass your immune system.
Those with HSV present with a number of symptoms, such as itching, blisters and red bumps. The herpes- virus can live dormant within the immune system for an entire lifetime.
Occasionally it will cause blisters that may burst & turn into open cold sores or even ulcers, and then heal.
The first company currently working on Herpes simplex research is Genocea.
They have just finished phase II of their trials, and they’re getting ready for their phase III trials. Their phase II
data reported a 50% reduction compared to the placebo they tested it with.
However, some of the patients they tested it with didn’t respond as well as they would have liked.
If all goes well in the phase III trials then it will take them between 2 and 3 years before the drug can be released to the public.
The second company working on Herpes simplex research, Rational Vaccines, have announced the results of their phase I clinical trial drug, called Theravax, they are also working on a drug called Profavax.
Rational Vaccines have attracted some controversy through their testing methods, which waived the traditional testing process of the FDA.
They did this by bypassing America and tested the vaccine on the Island of St. Kitts. Currently they’re trying to get approval in Mexico as well as in Canada in the same fashion.
But if the clinical trials work out well in these countries then they could still bring the medication to the US.
Many sceptics still believe that pharmaceutical companies actually aren’t interested in curing certain diseases
as doing so would mean that they wouldn’t make as much money on the medication required to treat these diseases.
So, there are many people who believe that medication companies are deliberately not finding the cures to HSV are another big pharma conspiracy theory.
But like most things, there is more than one answer to this question.
Firstly, it is possible that companies may not make investments into research that addresses diseases where the markets are small or impoverished and won’t be able to produce the return on investment of that company’s research.
Large organizations are all about profit margins after all.
But HSV affects two-thirds of the world’s population under the age of 50, making it quite a large amount of people who could possibly pay for a vaccine or a treatment.
Many people also make the accusation that there are many companies that treat diseases rather than cure them, and can therefore make a large profit from people who will need the treatment as long as they have the disease, for many this means as long as they are alive.
But while this theory is very possible, and almost certainly practiced, there is great competition in the pharma industry and companies are likely to make more of a profit from drugs that cure diseases to those that just control them.
A recent example is Sovaldi, which is a drug that cures Hepatitis C infections, as opposed to just supressing the ribavirin or interferon therapy used to do. The launch of Solvadi turned out to be the most profitable launch of any drug in history.
However, many believe that there are still natural cures that they don’t want you to know about.
While currently herpes is incurable, there are a number of natural remedies that can cause herpes to go into remission.
Firstly, it is important to boost your immune system with a healthy diet, in order to keep the virus dormant. Many
people who have contracted herpes don’t experience any symptoms when they learn
to manage triggers or outbreaks.
How often you have a herpes cold sore outbreak, the severity of the outbreaks, how contagious you are and the length of time it takes for the sore to heal are all dependent on your individual immune response.
There are a number of foods you can eat to keep your immune system up and to that specifically target herpes, such as foods that are rich in L-lysine, an amino acid that may prevent the replication of the herpes virus.
Foods rich in L-lysine include legumes, turkey, fish, chicken and vegetables.
Be sure to eat red and orange vegetables as they have antioxidants, such as carotenoids, vitamin C and bioflavonoids, which assist wounds to heal.
Wild-caught fish contain essential omega-3 fatty acids which assist with inflammation and tissue repair.
It is impossible for the body to heal if it does not have enough protein. Try to consume 4 to 5 ounces per meal. Some of the best protein rich foods are organic, naturally raised and lean.
These include pasture-raised poultry, wild-caught fish and grass-fed beef.
Be sure to include zinc in your diet, as it is needed in a number of chemical reactions that can assist in the rebuilding
of skin and protection of the body from viruses and infections.
Try a topical zinc cold sore treatment. Otherwise, foods that are high in zinc include protein, such as organ meats like liver, grass-fed beef, nuts, pumpkin seeds and many vegetables, like spinach.