An animal study on a new medication is revealed. It addressed active infections and decreased or eliminated the danger of future outbreaks, aiming to deliver a one-two punch to the herpes virus.
New Research Suggest Better Ways For Herpes Treatment
Existing therapies, such as Zovirax, Valtrex, or Famvir, are only successful at the first job; they can cure cold sores and vaginal eruptions once a herpes outbreak has occurred. The new medication, on the other hand, has a different objective in mind: a complete cure from the danger of a chronic, lifelong illness.
By entering the brain system, the virus can reach hidden viruses that would normally lay dormant, ready to cause fresh epidemics.
According to research author Gerald Kleymann, cold sores and genital herpes are caused by the herpes simplex virus. He’s referring to the “blisters” that individuals may detect on their lips and skin.
Kleymann is the CEO of the drug’s developer, the German business Innovative Molecules GmbH.
Because herpes is so common, treating it is no easy task, he says. According to Kleymann, more than one in every two men and women are infected with herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) and about one-quarter are infected with genital herpes simplex virus type-2 (HSV-2).
Lip blisters are regarded as a social shame, while genital herpes can disrupt a person’s sexual life, according to Kleymann. The virus can be transferred to the infant after childbirth, which can be deadly. In addition, the virus can damage vision in situations of eye infection, be fatal in cases of infected immunocompromised transplant patients, or be fatal in rare cases when individuals develop herpes encephalitis.
Furthermore, once infected, they carry the virus in their nerve cells for the rest of their lives, he noted. They may also have a recurring illness for the rest of their lives. According to the study team, the latent virus causes recurrent outbreaks in around 30% of individuals.
The new medication, known as IM-250, has been tested on mice and guinea pigs. In mice, the medication promoted faster recovery from acute breakouts while also safely eliminating latent viruses trapped in infected cells. The medicine appears to minimize or eliminate the likelihood of recurrent outbreaks in guinea pigs. The protective advantage lasted well after a week-long treatment session in the guinea pigs, according to the findings.
Furthermore, IM-250 proved to be beneficial even in treatment-resistant infections that did not respond to conventional herpes medicines.
This is because the new medication candidate targets the virus where it hides and resides, specifically in neurons of the face and genitals, according to Kleymann.
The findings were published in the journal Science Translational Medicine on June 16th.
According to Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore, the first findings are positive.
Current therapies are successful in reducing the severity of infections, but they are unable to eradicate the virus because it stays dormant in nerve cells, where antivirals have little effect. According to Adalja, it is the virus’s latent reservoir that causes recurrence.
Adalja, who was not involved in the German study, believes that having a medication that may lower the latent reservoir of the herpes virus would be a significant benefit in the treatment of herpes.
Nonetheless, he emphasized that, as with any animal studies, the discovery must be reproduced in humans.
Human clinical studies, according to Kleymann, are currently in the planning phases.
If the efficacy observed in animal models transfers into efficacy in people, it will be a breakthrough, Kleymann noted, noting that the medication candidate has the potential to change the natural history of herpes simplex illness by reducing the frequency of viral shedding and recurrent sickness.