Genocea Biosciences Rises on Positive Herpes Trial Results

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Genocea Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GNCA) shares saw a handy gain early Friday following the release of mid-stage results from its genital herpes treatment. Specifically, the company presented new 12-month immunogenicity data from the Phase 2a trial of its genital herpes immunotherapy GEN-003.

This analysis showed that GEN-003 immunization results in the development of CD4+ polyfunctional T cells, which indicates that GEN-003 is stimulating a multi-faceted T cell immune response to genital herpes.

The presentation also detailed the strong, antigen-specific antibody responses elicited by GEN-003 for up to 12 months post-dosing, consistent with its sustained effect on viral shedding and clinical disease at the same time point. Data were presented at the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

This new analysis found that GEN-003 induced polyfunctional T cells post-immunization that peaked at day 8 and persisted through at least day 50. This data could have important implications for the understanding of how the immune system controls genital herpes infections given that polyfunctional T cells have been linked to the control of HIV and other persistent viral infections.

Jessica Baker Flechtner, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at Genocea, commented:

These data provide strong evidence of clear and robust T and B cell immune responses that support the positive 12 month clinical results from the Phase 2a trial, which show that GEN-003 has a significant and durable effect on genital herpes viral shedding and clinical disease for at least 12 months after dosing. We are particularly excited about the data showing the development of polyfunctional T cells, which are considered to deliver a more effective immune response than those T cells which secrete only one mediator. This immunological data once again demonstrates that GEN-003 can have a true biological effect against genital herpes and supports our confidence in its potential to become a cornerstone treatment for this serious disease.

Shares of Genocea were last seen up more than 2% at $3.69 on Friday, with a consensus analyst price target of $18.00 and a 52-week trading range of $2.56 to $8.07.