Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi and Immune Design Corp., a clinical-stage immunotherapy company, last month announced that they have entered into a broad collaboration for the development of a herpes simplex virus (HSV) immune therapy.


Sanofi Pasteur and Immune Design will each contribute product candidates to the collaboration: Sanofi Pasteur will contribute HSV-529, a clinical-stage replication-defective HSV vaccine product candidate, and Immune Design will contribute G103, its preclinical trivalent vaccine product candidate. The collaboration will explore the potential of various combinations of agents, including Immune Design’s GLAASTM platform, with the goal to select the best potential immune therapy for patients.

“We intend to develop the best in class HSV therapeutic vaccine by pooling assets of Sanofi Pasteur and of Immune Design,” explained John Shiver, PhD, Senior VP for R&D, Sanofi Pasteur. Given the challenges of vaccine development,” Shiver continued, “collaborations are important to help ensure that the medical need will eventually be met.”

The two companies will develop the products jointly through Phase II clinical trials, at which point Sanofi Pasteur intends to continue development of the most promising candidate and be responsible for commercialization. Sanofi Pasteur will bear the costs of all preclinical and clinical development, with Immune Design providing a specific formulation of GLA from the GLAAS platform at its cost through Phase II studies. Immune Design will be eligible to receive future milestone and royalty payments on any product developed from the collaboration; other financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

Herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that any sexually active person can acquire. Most people with the virus don’t have symptoms. It is important to know that even without signs of disease, it can still spread to sexual partners. You can get herpes by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the disease. Fluids found in a herpes sore carry the virus, and contact with those fluids can cause infection. You can also get herpes from an infected sex partner who does not have a visible sore or who may not know that he or she is infected, because the virus can be released through your skin and spread the infection to your sex partner(s). Genital herpes is common in the United States, as about one out of every six people aged 14 to 49 years have genital herpes