Vical Inc. Reports Failed Phase 2 Trial of Herpes Vaccine

California-based biotechnology company Vical Incorporated (NASDAQ:VICL) released, on Monday, the results of its Phase 2 herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) therapeutic vaccine.

Unfortunately, the trial failed to meet its primary endpoint, so the company has decided to discontinue the HSC-2 program. 

The study, which included 261 healthy HSV-2 positive patients between the ages of 18 to 50, was meant to reduce the reoccurrence of herpes virus outbreaks. 

Patients were divided into two groups where one group had the vaccination while the other had a placebo.

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According to Vical CEO and President, Vijay Samant, the company “took careful measures to recruit patients with [a] self-reported history of 4 to 9 recurrences annually,” but that “the annualized recurrence rate during the trial in the placebo group was far less than what was expected based on their self-reported history.”

As a result, the vaccination did not show strong results that the company had predicted which made them decided to terminate the program. 

The program lasted for a total of nine months, but the study’s protocol requires that patients are followed up 12 months after their last vaccination dose, so Vical will continue to follow all active patients until the end of July 2018.

Samant has thanked all patients and investigators involved in the study and said that the company is indebted to them for all of their support. 

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Although the Phase 2 HSV-2 study did not meet the results predicted by Vical, Samant has stated that the company will focus on its other studies, such as the VL‑2397 antifungal drug for the treatment of “invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised adults.”

Shares of Vical fell by more than 25% on Monday after the announcement was made. The company closed at a share value of $1.20 USD and reached a high of $1.21 and a low of $1.04.

Compared to these values, Vical closed at $1.63 and reached a high of $1.65 and a low of $1.61 on Friday. 

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