"There is an unmet need for therapeutic options in the prevention of CMV infection in hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients," said Nicholas Kartsonis, VP of infectious disease clinical research at Merck Research Laboratories.
According to Francisco Marty, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and attending physician in transplant and oncology infectious diseases at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, letermovir as primary prophylaxis of CMV infection could be a new strategy for the prevention of CMV in this high-risk patient population.
There is currently no marketed CMV vaccine.
Vical and its partner Astellas have been developing a therapeutic DNA vaccine, ASP0113, designed to prevent reactivation of CMV infection.
Vical is also developing a prophylactic CMV vaccine, CyMVectin, with an aim to reduce the risk of mothers transmitting the infection to their babies during pregnancy, which is not yet in Phase 1.