Game Changer


For those of you who have been following Rational Vaccines (RVx)’s progress and the preliminary results of our Phase I trial of the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine, I attach below a link to an article just published in Southern Illinois University’s Aspects magazine entitled, “Game Changer.”

The link is here:

I believe that you will find that this story is more in-depth than most newspaper articles, and may give you a sense for where the science behind the project lies.  On other fronts, I am currently in the process of writing up four manuscripts for publication in 2017, so for the science geeks out there, I hope that the hard data emerges soon to justify the claims that:

  1.   Rational Vaccines has an exclusive license on a proprietary herpes diagnostic test that is light years better than the current standard of care;
  2.  Rational Vaccines has an exclusive license on a proprietary technology for easily making stable cell lines that tightly regulate the expression of any gene of interest (i.e., key to making stable ICP0-complementing cell lines that allow the manufacture of our live HSV vaccines); and
  3. Rational Vaccines has an exclusive license on a proprietary HSV-2 ICP0- mutant virus vaccine that works very well as a therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine, and which most recipients indicates delivers better control of their genital herpes symptoms than valacyclovir or other antiviral drugs.

2017 should be an interesting year as the data I have been collecting for the past six years on all of these fronts finally starts to come to light.  In the meantime, the SIU Aspects article may provide a slightly different perspective relative to what has been published about this research in less in-depth interviews and news articles to date.

–  Bill H.

17 thoughts on “Game Changer

  1. Adrian says:

    Hello Dr Halford,
    My question is if you take one shot of theravax is it possible to have a desired effect or do u need boosters too ? is it possible to have lifelong immunity with just one shot because if at all ur vaccine releases in a country which is far away then it would be inconvenient for others to travel all the way and stay there for months .. is it possible to have a shot and confer lifelong immunity


    • Mike says:

      Hey bill,

      I have a question – when we damage the skin, we are more likely to have a herpes outbreak why? Does the virus shed more when there is broken skin? If it does, is there away to do the same action only somewhere near the ganglia region so that maybe the latent virus would come out from hiding?

      There must be away to lure the virus out from hiding.


  2. Phillip Macgeurel says:

    Hello Dr halford,
    My question is if HSV infections r so common then why are the majority of people asymtomatic ? are we the unlucky ones who have weak immune systems because I have a friend of mine who has herpes and he has been married since 21 years and has never managed to give his wife genital herpes .. is it that her primary outbreak was so minor that she must have not even realised that she is infected ..


    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Philip,

      The phenomenon of which you speak is not unique to HSV infections. Back when polio was a thing, researchers in the 1940s – 60s showed repeatedly that the children / people who developed the debilitating disease of poliomyelitis (e.g., time in an iron lung, crippled after getting out of iron lung) represented less than 1 in 200 people who were actually infected with poliovirus. It turns out viruses are small, and when they first enter our bodies, their may be a 5- to 20-day lag time (depending on the virus) between being “virus-infected” and exhibiting symptoms of disease.

      It also turns out our bodies have an immune system, and most often it does its job and beats a virus back into submission (and perhaps clears it from the body entirely) before we ever have a single sniffle or symptom…..hence the high frequency of asymptomatic infections (with the vast majority of infectious agents…..not just HSV). Why some people get disease worse is variable…..higher dose of exposure, some type of trauma that breaks down the mechanical barriers of the skin or lungs or intestines), or maybe any one of the variety of factors that can make the immune system function less efficiently (e.g., a weekend drinking binge).

      So, getting to your question, what you propose is the most likely explanation….your friend’s wife’s immune system did its job and controlled the primary infection early in the game, which sets the stage for a life-long asymptomatic infection.

      – Bill H.


  3. Hope says:

    Dr. Halford. On behalf of the Millions if chronic herpes sufferers, thank you for giving us hope. My question is do you plan on having subsequent clinical trials for the theravax Hsv 1. Do you have a timeline? Anxiously waiting for news.


  4. Shazil says:

    Hello Dr.Halford,

    Will the ABVIC test be released soon? I assumed it would’ve been released last year when the rational vaccines site went operational. Thanks.


    • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

      Hi Shazil,

      You are correct that I misspoke about the ABVIC test and the timeline to its availability. My company has chosen to first (1) write up the scientific manuscript describing the ABVIC test and how it stacks up against HerpeSelect and HSV Western blots, and then (2) carefully consider the options for commercialization. On one hand, I would like to make the test available ASAP as we originally planned. However, two things changed my company’s mind on this front, and these are:
      1. We are still a small startup and we did not want to get so bogged down in diagnostic testing that it interfered with our ability to advance the live HSV-1 and HSV-2 ICP0- virus vaccines to clinics where they can help people; and (2) just as importantly, there is not a single published paper showing how the ABVIC test performs as a herpes serology test relative to the current standard of care. I did not think it wise to set our company up for the type of criticism that took down Theranos ( because their herpes serology “technology” was all hype and B.S., and lacked any substance.

      Is the HSV ABVIC test better than the current standard of care? Yes, by leaps and bounds. However, it is my job to prove that to the scientific community and the companies that offer diagnostic testing to patients, and my company ultimately decided that it was best to ease up on the ABVIC guess pedal, and write at least one (any maybe a few) scientific studies describing / defining WHY the test is better.

      I have recently completed such a scientific manuscript, and plan to submit it for publication within the next month. Once published, then my company can better consider our options for getting it out to patients and doctors ASAP, which might go fastest if we can identify a well-established strategic partner in the diagnostic testing space.

      Thank you for your question Shazil. I believe that this update on the HSV ABVIC test was long overdue, so thank you for the question / prompt to address this issue.

      – Bill H.


      • Shazil says:

        Thank you Dr. Halford for your thorough reply. I look forward to reading the upcoming publication in regards to the ABVIC test. Is it likely that the ABVIC test will receive CLIA approval sometime this year?


      • Herpes Vaccine Research says:

        Hi Shazil,

        No idea on timeline. This is the first time I have developed a new herpes serology test, so it is uncharted territory. How about we agree that I want the HSV ABVIC test to be available as soon as possible?

        – Bill


  5. Richard Mancuso says:

    I am so glad this is beginning to get some momentum. I can’t wait for other to see how well this vaccine works and can’t wait to read the next couple of papers. 🙂


  6. Johnny Utah says:

    “If our work is approved by a country with a larger population and structures in place for FDA-like trials, it could be viable within three to five years. The vaccine would then be available for people within that jurisdiction.”

    I was under the impression, from your interview with Dr. Bloom, that the vaccine could be available within a year?


  7. Bryce says:

    Dr. Halford,
    The article states that the vaccine should be viable in 3-5 years, although from other post I thought it would be a lot sooner like the end of this year or next. Maybe I read wrong or am confused?


  8. Gar11 says:

    Greats reads, keep up the good work.

    Ive been doing my best to get the word spread about rvx, posting the petition and site links all over boards and forums im on.
    Thank you for all the great efforts on helping all the sufferers out there !


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