Genocea's GEN-003 in Prime Position to Lead Genital Herpes Vaccine Space, says GlobalData Analyst

LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 28 April 2015 - Genocea Biosciences' investigational genital herpes (GH) vaccine, GEN-003, is better positioned to compete in the future GH treatment space, despite being slightly behind Agenus' HerpV in clinical development, according to an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.

Daian Cheng, Ph.D., GlobalData's Analyst covering Infectious Diseases, says that although both vaccines have novel mechanisms of action that can partially address some of the unmet needs in current GH management, GEN-003 possesses stronger commercial and clinical attributes according to available data.

Cheng explains: "Despite encouraging clinical results for HerpV, Agenus has encountered cash flow problems and has expressed interest in forming partnership or licensing agreements to further develop the vaccine. This may account for the lack of an announcement regarding a development plan for HerpV since the completion of the Phase II trial in January 2015.

"In contrast, Genocea set out clear plans and expectations for GEN-003 in its recent presentation at the 14th Needham & Co. Healthcare Conference in New York City, where it demonstrated confidence in its ability to successfully develop and commercialize GEN-003 in the US."

The analyst notes that GEN-003 has displayed reduced rates of genital lesion and viral shedding compared with baseline rates and its improved dosing frequency makes the drug an attractive alternative to current daily antivirals. Furthermore, Genocea has indicated the possibility of using GEN-003 in combination with antiviral treatment, a strategy that could combine the strengths of both therapy types.

While Genocea expects GEN-003 to be able to tap into a potentially lucrative US market, the company will need to take measures to counteract the available antiviral treatments, which have strong familiarity and good overall profiles.

Cheng continues: "Genocea will have to leverage patient and physician awareness initiatives to gain GH therapeutics market share for GEN-003, and will also need to improve diagnosis and treatment rates to achieve its revenue goal.

"In addition, the company must obtain more convincing safety and efficacy data to impact physician prescribing patterns. However, strong support from Genocea will provide a clearer and more secure future for GEN-003, a key factor that will set it apart from HerpV over the next few years," the analyst concludes.



- Comments provided by Daian Cheng, Ph.D., GlobalData's Analyst covering Infectious Diseases.

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