On the upcoming ACAM-529 vaccine trial

November 13, 2013 |

David Knipe, Lynda Morrison, and Jeffrey Cohen are three of the principal scientists who have been involved in research over the past 15 years that has brought the HSV-2 ACAM-529 vaccine to a Phase I Clinical Trial.  Sanofi Pasteur is the company that has backed / sponsored the ACAM-529 vaccine, and Sanofi Pasteur will presumably be bringing the HSV-2 ACAM-529 vaccine to market if it succeeds in all phases of human clinical trials.

Dr. Knipe was kind enough to share the following information with me earlier today, which I pass along for those who may be interested in enrolling in the ACAM-529 vaccine clinical trial.


Hi Bill,

Here are the links for the start of the HSV5-29 trial for your blog.



If people want to write to me about the trial (I am not conducting it though), they can write to me at this address:  dknipe@hms.harvard.edu



something completely differentDavid, I believe that I speak for millions of genital herpes sufferers worldwide when I say thank you for your dedication and perseverance over the past 15 years, which has brought ACAM-529 from a HSV-2 vaccine concept to the first human clinical trial of a HSV-2 viral vaccine that has real potential to be a game-changer.

You have my best wishes and hopes that the trials of the HSV-2 ACAM-529 vaccine represent a turning point in the development of a HSV-2 genital herpes vaccine that is both safe and effective.

– Bill H.

199 Responses to On the upcoming ACAM-529 vaccine trial

  1. Ally January 3, 2015 at 8:12 am #

    Hi Bill,

    First of all, I really wanted to thank you for all your answers that are very precise and let us have an insight into the research going on on HSV.

    I am a bit confuse cause non english speaker and wanted to confirm that :

    The vaccine acam529 is aimed at stopping outbreaks and keep HSV-2 at a latent step forever.
    But will not completely kill and clear the body from this virus due to the fact that he is located very profoundly in our nervous system (DNA very alike with us).
    Is it correct?

    Thank you for your answer and I wish you a happy new year 2015.

  2. Ed Ra December 27, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

    Hi Bill Halford
    I was diagnosed with hvs-1 oral and genital about 6 months ago I was wondering if the vaccine acam529 is gonna work just in the genital area or also is gonna help about oral herpes I know that is the same virus hsv that’s affects both areas I’m a little confuse. Well the question is acam529 vaccine is gonna work for hvs-1 And hvs-2? Also does the vaccine is gonna help to all kinds of hsv1 oral, genital, herpes mat and hepes keratitis?
    First Thanks for made this website is the first web that I can get information to help me understand more about herpes also to know news about herpes and also thanks for all scientists, doctors etc to help to make a vaccine for herpes.
    Ill wait for you answer

  3. Life December 16, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

    Hi Dr. H. I’m interested in the vaccine or other working hsv vaccines. I read above briefly about others listed in this post that work. Waiting 5 more yrs for anything to come to trial is long. What other vaccines do you know provide relief? Anyone here can answer & share.
    Also are test persons still needed? I’d like to read the terms. I’m open. Thank you for your work. :)

  4. Vincent Deng November 28, 2014 at 4:57 am #

    Dear Dr.Bill

    I got the herpes for around 5 months, and the suffering from the neuralgia. Initially just few part of body like arm or leg, duration just few seconds. Until recent reccour, and everywhere on my body pain, the location not fix the duration also not fix. Is the virus eating my nerves? I recurred 4 times already, and the symptom is typical, but my HSV-2 IGG test is still negative. I feel helpless now. Could you help me to analyze my situation, and what should I do to eliminate the neuralgia? Sorry for my poor English.
    I am from China, the doctor here has few experience on this .thank you for your hardworking on vaccine.

    I wish every patients get well soon.

  5. Pritelivir November 7, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    Hello Faith in God – Progress seems to take an eternity, however, activity has picked rapidly the last few years. Halford knows his viruses, and if you have taken the time to read through the voluminous questions and answers, you will understand why HSV529 and Immune Design’s viral fragment have a small probability of producing a robust immune response. Halford mutated one of the viral proteins numerous ways and discovered most produced less than robust responses. However, it appears one of the mutations produced a strong response.

    So, hopefully Halford will find the means to initiate a trial to demonstrate that his live, replication competent and attenuated vaccine either works or does not. But given that the Shingles vaccine is a mutated live virus, I see no reason why Halford’s vaccine will not work.

  6. Bill Halford November 7, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    Hi Ed,

    I hear you loud and clear, but there are rules that dictate the path I need to follow. Doing what I can, as quickly as I can, but it just takes time. Hopefully, we can figure out a way to get some clinical trials going of a new live HSV-2 vaccine approach.

    – Bill H.

  7. Faith in God November 7, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

    Hi Pritelivir. I know progress is slow, but I hope Dr. Halford, gets to test his vaccine soon!! He seems to know what he is talking about, and seems to actually care. If we can test his live virus, it would show a growing and progressive step forward, where even if it proves unsuccessful, it will definitely be a step in the right direction and can provide invaluable research information. Although Bill is skeptical on Ian Frazers vaccine and Sanofi Pasteur-HSV 29 making moves such as what this article states. http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/globenewswire/10102892.htm It can definitely provide different types of methods, to finally stabilize this bug.

  8. Ed November 2, 2014 at 11:12 am #


    Thankyou so so much for your reply. Have you tried your vaccine on humans yet and is it safe? If it is I know you don’t have the funding for trials, but could me and other people who have Hsv 2 try your vaccine? Even if I had to pay for it? It would change my life if it worked. I’m willing to try anything. Thankyou Bill

  9. Bill Halford November 2, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    Hi Ed,

    I do not have wild-type HSV-1 or wild-type HSV-2………but it has been a hobby / job / passion for the past 22 years.

    Will try to respond to the backlog of other comments in the next few weeks. I have been buried since returning from a 7-month sabbatical at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana.

    – Bill

  10. Ed November 1, 2014 at 10:05 am #

    Hi bill

    I subscribed to your blog awhile back and get an email every time someone replys on it! I’m always looking at this site!
    Anyway I did have a couple of questions for you…
    From a total of 9 ( I think ) vaccines in trial now can you see any of them working? If so why and which one?
    I really like the sound of your vaccine and I have recently been in contact with the ceo of AuRx who said there vaccine really worked and 49% of people who had 10-25 out breaks a year never had symptoms again. Is there vaccine similar to yours? Also Can I ask if you yourself have Hsv?
    Thankyou your time


  11. Bill Halford November 1, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    Dear Pritelivir, Faith in God, and all of the visitors to this blog,

    Please do not mistake my recent silence for either (1) a loss in interest or (2) disapproval / disagreement with what is being said. This could not be further from the truth. The wheels are in motion, but take time to turn. I arrived at the conclusion being offered here about 2 years ago, and have been working in the background trying to bring this idea into reality. Rest assured, I am on it. However, such matters take time, and it would counterproductive to the cause to discuss any details at this point in time.

    – Bill H.

    P.S. I always find it reassuring to remember that my own struggles are the same that have faced men and women for centuries before, time and time again, as exemplified in these lyrics from the Rush song “Vital Signs.”

    Leave out the fiction, the fact is this friction
    Will only be worn by persistence
    Leave out conditions, courageous convictions
    Will drag the dream into existence

  12. Pritelivir November 1, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    Bill – Faith in God is correct. After my experience with the AIC316 trial and watching a company trying to receive approval for a parathyroid hormone analog in the US for over a decade despite being approved by the EU, it is apparent the FDA is completely risk adverse. If there is a possibility of harm, no matter how low the probability, they will require a tremendous amount of proof through trials. More $ than most big pharmaceutical companies would be willing to invest. You need to go somewhere beyond the reach of the FDA if you expect to see your vaccine make it to market in your lifetime!

  13. faith in god November 1, 2014 at 1:32 am #

    Hello Dr. Halford! Much Respect to you, I admire you as a compassionate, human being. You’re a very empathetic individual. Just wondering, since you have issues with the FDA. Why don’t you attempt to take trials south of the border in Mexico??!! I would assume you wouldn’t need as much as money down there to pull off any research or assistance. You would NOT be under FDA regulations and you would help out MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of mean, I’m sure we can raise a lot of money on this blog alone. IDK, but 20 years of Politics and BS is too long. And once your vaccines proves effective, then Im sure you would get your Noble Prize as well as a great feeling of helping out so many people who physically and mentally SUFFER!! People would fly to Mexico to get vaccinated. Please do something. It sounds desperate but this is a difficult condition. I will help you with what I can. I’m an RN and Speak Spanish.

  14. BeaconStreet October 17, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    Bill, any comments or reaction to the Sanofi-Immune Design development you can share with us? http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/globenewswire/10102892.htm

  15. Manuel October 6, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

    I hope the vaccine have good progress to date, blessings for the people working on the project.

    Espero que la vacuna tengo buenos avances a la fecha, bendiciones para las personas que trabajan en el proyecto.

  16. Bruno September 25, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

    Hi Doctor Halford!

    I know you talked about, but there is a possibility of doing this trials in other countries? I do not understand much of it, but I think there are other countries where it is easier to perform the tests. Or is it more likely await the approval of the United States? Forgiveness for my English, is that I am from Brazil. Thank you for your commitment to the cause!


  17. Pritelivir September 20, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

    Bill – Prusiner’s account of the his progress was met with fierce opposition and animosity; everyone insisted prions has to have a nucleic core and would not budge from that dogma. Haldane’s four stages of progression are mentioned in the book along with many biological molecular explanations. Between your blog and Prusiner’s book, I now have a much better understanding of viruses and the immune system.

    Hopefully you will come up for air soon.

  18. Bill Halford September 20, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

    Hi Pritelivir,

    I will have to give this a look. Stanley Prusiner is credited with advancing the idea of prions (infectious proteins) such as are the root cause of Mad Cow Disease and a few other similar syndromes. Yes, everyone at the time thought Prusiner and others advancing the “prion hypothesis” were whack jobs, and then later on the scientific community gave him a Nobel Prize. The same story with Howard Temin in the 1960s who proposed that retroviruses (called RNA tumor viruses at the time) carried RNA in their virions and a reverse transcriptase to make a DNA copy of the RNA that could then be integrated into the host cell genome; HIV is a member of this family of viruses and Temin’s theory (based on the logical interpretation of the available evidence) proved to be 100% accurate. Still, at the time, Howard Temin’s “reverse transcription” theory was regarded as shite and madness by most of the so-called experts. Howard Temin and David Baltimore were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize 15 to 20 years later, and their work was instrumental in the development of two major classes of anti-HIV drugs.

    So, it goes in science. Most of the so-called experts are lemmings who all too easily recognize that someone’s theories differ from conventional thinking, but who are either unwilling or unable to evaluate the evidence being offered in support of a different theory.

    This is not a new phenomenon, and was described by a 19th century scientist, J.B.S. Haldane as such……….

    J.B.S. Haldane formulated the four stages of scientific acceptance:
    1. This is worthless nonsense.
    2. This is an interesting, but perverse point of view.
    3. This is true, but quite unimportant.
    4. I always said so.

    Established scientists sometimes enjoy positions of power that are predicated on the continued accuracy of a belief system or particular theory about how the natural world works. Lo and behold, when a change in theory is proposed, and threatens to change established scientists’ bottom line in terms of paycheck, grant-funding, future drug sales, or influence in science, the proposed new theory is not always greeted with open arms, but rather is often dealt with in a back room using a 9-mm pistol fitted with a silencer.

    All change is slow, and nowhere is this truer than a change in prevailing scientific beliefs.

    – Bill H.


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