ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vical Incorporated (Nasdaq:VICL) today announced that a review of the company's progress toward clinical testing of its Vaxfectin®-formulated therapeutic vaccine against herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) will be presented at the 2nd International Conference and Exhibition on Cell & Gene Therapy, held in Orlando, Florida. Published results from preclinical therapeutic vaccine studies demonstrated significant reduction in recurrence of viral lesions and viral shedding in HSV-2 infected guinea pigs. A Phase 1/2 clinical trial of the vaccine is expected to begin in late 2013.
Sean M. Sullivan, Ph.D., Vical's Executive Director of Pharmaceutical Sciences, is scheduled to present in the Keynote Forum at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday, October 24. Dr. Sullivan's presentation, "Development of Vaxfectin®-formulated HSV-2 Plasmid DNA Vaccines for Prophylactic and Therapeutic Applications," summarizes previously reported animal study data and progress toward human testing. Following the public address, a copy of the presentation will be posted to the Products section of the company's website at www.vical.com.
HSV-2 is a sexually transmitted virus which is the leading cause of recurrent genital herpes. Approximately one out of every six Americans between the ages of 14 and 49 is infected by HSV-2. HSV-2 infections are persistent and can result in debilitating genital lesions, as well as periodic viral shedding that places sexual partners at risk. HSV-2 can still be transmitted even when genital herpes lesions are not present. Infection with HSV-2 also significantly increases the risk of acquiring HIV-1. There is no approved vaccine for HSV-2, and available medications can only treat symptoms and reduce outbreaks during the time they are used.
Vical researches and develops biopharmaceutical products based on its patented DNA delivery technologies for the prevention and treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases. Potential applications of the company's DNA delivery technology include DNA vaccines for infectious diseases or cancer, in which the expressed protein is an immunogen; cancer immunotherapeutics, in which the expressed protein is an immune system stimulant; and cardiovascular therapies, in which the expressed protein is an angiogenic growth factor. The company is developing certain infectious disease vaccines internally. In addition, the company collaborates with major pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies that give it access to complementary technologies or greater resources. These strategic partnerships provide the company with mutually beneficial opportunities to expand its product pipeline and address significant unmet medical needs. Additional information on Vical is available at www.vical.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Forward-looking statements include statements about the potential uses and benefits of Vical's vaccine technologies and their potential application in vaccines against HSV-2, as well as Vical's focus, collaborative partners, and product candidates. Risks and uncertainties include whether Vical's technology will be successfully applied; whether Vical or others will advance the HSV-2 vaccine candidate into human clinical testing in late 2013, if at all; whether preclinical results will be predictive of results in human clinical testing; whether the HSV-2 vaccine or any product candidates will be shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials; the timing, nature and cost of clinical trials; whether Vical or its collaborative partners will seek or gain approval to market any product candidates; whether Vical or its collaborative partners will succeed in marketing any product candidates; and additional risks set forth in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements represent the company's judgment as of the date of this release. The company disclaims, however, any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.