(HealthDay News) – Pritelivir is safe and effective for treatment of genital herpes simplex virus (HSV)-2 infection, according to a study published in the Jan. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Anna Wald, MD, MPH, from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues assessed the efficacy and safety of pritelivir in a cohort of 156 individuals with genital HSV-2 infection. Participants were randomized to receive oral pritelivir at doses of 5, 25, or 75mg daily or 400mg weekly or placebo for 28 days. Daily swabs were obtained from the genital area for HSV-2 testing, and a diary was maintained of genital signs and symptoms.

The researchers found that among placebo recipients, genital shedding was detected on 16.6% of days, compared with 18.2%, 9.3%, 2.1%, and 5.3% of days for those receiving 5, 25, 75, and 400mg pritelivir, respectively, with associated relative risks of 1.11, 0.57, 0.13, and 0.32, respectively. A significant reduction was seen in the percentage of days with genital lesions, from 9% in the placebo group to 1.2% in the groups receiving 75mg daily and 400mg weekly (relative risks, 0.13 for both). All groups had similar rates of adverse events.

“Pritelivir reduced the rates of genital HSV shedding and days with lesions in a dose-dependent manner in otherwise healthy men and women with genital herpes,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including AiCuris, which manufactures pritelivir and funded the study.

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