NeuroVir: Finding virtue in focus

One of the biological pillars upon which gene therapy has built its hopes is the naturally occurring ability of viruses to gain entry into mammalian host cells. Researchers have looked at retroviruses, adenoviruses, adeno-associated viruses and, to a lesser extent, pox viruses. But they have shied away from herpes simplex virus because of problems associated with disease caused by the virus.

However, the virus has certain attractive features as a vector, including its ability to infect a wide variety of cells, its lower immunogenicity compared to other viral vectors and its large carrying capacity for delivery of genes. NeuroVir believes that it will be able to take advantage of HSV's strong points because recent advances in technology have addressed previous concerns about use of the virus as a vector.