Professor Ian Frazer, the man who developed the Gardasil vaccine against HPV and whom I wrote about in a previous post discussing his progress on the Gardasil 2 vaccine, is also working on a therapeutic vaccine for genital herpes and initial results have been encouraging.

There are 2 strains of herpes virus, HSV1 , commonly associated with coldsores and HSV2, which usually causes genital herpes. The vaccine he is working on targets HSV2. Researchers have been trying to design an effective vaccine against genital herpes for over 50 years, but no one has managed to do it so far.

Dr Frazers vaccine is a combination prevention and therapeutic vaccine, which is novel and if successful, would be revolutionary. If he is successful the principle could also be applied to other incurable viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis C.

So far the vaccine has only been tested in animals, with encouraging results and the next step is to start human trials. However getting from where we are now to having a human version will still take around 6 years.