Vaccines division Sanofi Pasteur has partnered with clinical-stage immunotherapy company Immune Design to develop herpes simplex virus (HSV) immune therapy.
As part of the deal, both companies will develop the products through Phase II clinical trials, and each will provide product candidates for the collaboration.
Sanofi Pasteur research and development senior vice-president John Shiver said: "We intend to develop the best in class HSV therapeutic vaccine by pooling assets of Sanofi Pasteur and Immune Design.
"Given the challenges of vaccine development, collaborations are important to help ensure that the medical need will eventually be met."
Sanofi Pasteur will offer a clinical-stage replication-defective HSV vaccine product candidate HSV-529, while Immune Design will provide its preclinical trivalent vaccine product candidate G103, for the trials.
The partnership will also test the potential of different combinations of agents, including Immune Design’s GLAAS platform.
Sanofi Pasteur will bear the expenses of all preclinical and clinical development, while Immune Design will provide a specific formulation of GLA from the GLAAS platform.
Immune Design has the option to receive future milestone and royalty payments on any product developed from the collaboration.
GLAAS platform, which works in-vivo, is based on a small synthetic molecule known as glucopyranosyl lipid adjuvant (GLA).
Sanofi Pasteur’s HSV vaccine candidate is classified as a replication-defective virus, which includes all the components of wild-type virus with the exception of two proteins that are involved in viral DNA replication.
Image: Small cell carcinoma infected with herpes simplex virus. Photo: courtesy of Yale Rosen.