Raj Chovatiya, MD, PhD, on Investigating HSV-1 Vectors in Collagen-Based Disorders


The assistant professor dermatology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine discussed the potential for further research enabled by B-VEC.

“In this circumstance, it's a modified viral vector to really try to tamp down on the things that we don't want. And so, I think that this gives credence for this particular viral vector for delivery of other genes and other cutaneous disorders that arise from mutations that might be correctable.”

Krystal Biotech’s beremagene geperpavec (B-VEC), approved in the United States in May 2023 for treating dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB) under the name Vyjuvek, now has a marketing authorization application up for review in the European Union.1,2

B-VEC is topically applied in a gel droplet form to the skin and is redosable, with caregivers applying it to wounds on a weekly basis, making it unique among investigational and approved gene therapies. DEB is caused by mutations in COL7A1, which encodes for collagen 7 protein, and which is delivered by B-VEC's herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) vector rather than an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector. The target may have potential to be investigated for other disorders in which COL7A1 is impacted, and the HSV-1 vector may have wide applicability as well.

CGTLive® spoke with Raj Chovatiya, MD, PhD, assistant professor dermatology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, to learn more about the potential advantages of the HSV-1 vector over traditional AAV vectors and the potential for expansion into other collagen-based disorders.

1. Krystal Biotech announces EMA validation of marketing authorization application for VYJUVEK for the treatment of dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. News release. Krystal Biotech, Inc. November 27, 2023. Accessed November 27, 2023. https://ir.krystalbio.com/news-releases/news-release-details/krystal-biotech-announces-ema-validation-marketing-authorization
2. Krystal Biotech Receives FDA Approval for the First-Ever Redosable Gene Therapy, VYJUVEK™ (beremagenegeperpavec-svdt) for the Treatment of Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. News release. Krystal Biotech. May 19, 2023. Accessed November 27, 2023. https://ir.krystalbio.com/news-releases/news-release-details/krystal-biotech-receives-fda-approval-first-ever-redosable-gene
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