Could pritelivir be the latest entry in the race for a herpes treatment? According to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the early clinical trials look very promising. Mary Engel just published another excellent article in the field of new advances in finding a treatment/cure for herpes. This time, she focuses on the German drug maker, AiCuris and their latest clinical trials on their new drug, pritelivir.
While still in the experimental stage, it is already proving to be more effective than valacyclovir (Valtrex) in its human trials according to the results published today.
The results of the phase 2, randomized, double-blind trial published today showed that when people with genital herpes took a daily oral dose of pritelivir, they reduced their rate of viral shedding by half compared to when they took valacyclovir. They also had fewer genital sores and less pain.
If pritelivir makes it to market, it would mean more options and competition. Right now, the only prescription options to treat herpes are valacyclovir (Valtrex), acyclovir (Zovirax) and famciclovir (Famvir) with each one having its own side effects. These drugs can be expensive and cost prohibitive, especially if you do not have insurance. More than a few have stuttered the words, “How…How much??” as they stood at the counter trying to pay for their first prescription. As new drugs hit the market, it will (Hopefully) drive the prices down.
Now, some of you may be discouraged that companies are working on a treatment instead of a cure but don’t be. The fact that companies are actively working on a treatment is encouraging. As this article points out, there hasn’t been a new treatment for herpes in 20 years. Each time there is a new breakthrough, there is a better understanding of how this virus works and it gets us one step closer to a cure or a vaccine. In reality, a vaccine would most likely come long before a cure simply because we are unable to cure viruses. Baby steps…
To see all of the juicy details on the pritelivir clinical trials, the testing methods used and why the FDA currently has a hold on it, head on over to Fred Hutch’s website to see Mary Engel’s full article that was just published, today. She did a fantastic job and explains everything in detail.
If you don’t know Mary’s work, she also has another great article titled, “Can gene editing cure herpes?” which she published in September 2016 on the Fred Hutch website.
If you found Mary’s article helpful as we do, you can follow her on Twitter @Engel140
While you are at it, send Fred Hutch some Facebook love by liking their page.
Until next time, stay warm and Merry Christmas!