GVR Report cover Herpes Simplex Virus Treatment Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Herpes Simplex Virus Treatment Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Treatment (HSV-1, HSV-2), By Drug, By Vaccine, By Route of Administration, By End-use, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2023 - 2030

  • Report ID: GVR-4-68039-983-7
  • Number of Pages: 80
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Range: 2018 - 2021
  • Industry: Healthcare

Report Overview

The global herpes simplex virus treatment market size was valued at USD 1.54 billion in 2022 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.24% from 2023 to 2030. The growth can be attributed to the growing burden of herpes simplex virus infection, including oral herpes and genital herpes. Herpes simplex is one of the most common forms of the herpes virus that affects about 3.7 billion people worldwide. Moreover, the infection is highly contagious that can spread via saliva, vaginal secretion, or semen, and is acquired unknowingly. Human herpesvirus lytic reactivation has been observed in an increasing number of COVID-19 patients, even those who had received vaccinations.

U.S. herpes simplex virus treatment market size, by drug, 2020 - 2030 (USD Million)

By reactivating the viruses in latently infected host cells, COVID-19 therapies, the SARS-CoV2 coinfection, and vaccination may worsen those herpesvirus-related illnesses. Moreover, older adults are at a higher risk of developing herpes, thus increasing the vulnerability of older adults to infectious diseases.

The CDC reports an estimated number of 572,000 cases of genital herpes infections caused by the herpes simplex virus in the U.S. every year. HSV II infection is more common in women and individuals with a history of more than five sexual partners. Moreover, if exposed, individuals with HSV II infection are three times more likely to acquire HIV. This plays a substantial role in the global spread of HIV where women are more vulnerable to both HIV and HSV II. Hence, such a high prevalence of the herpes simplex virus is anticipated to fuel market growth.

Rising global health expenditure and government support to meet the increasing demand for effective therapeutics are encouraging companies to engage in developing novel and innovative medicines. For instance, in June 2021, Innovative Molecules GmbH, a Munich-based drug development company, announced positive results of its novel drug candidate, IM-250, a second-generation helicase-primase inhibitor of HSV-1 and HSV-2 in multiple animal models of HSV. The company received USD 23.8 million in series A equity funding led by Life Sciences Partners and anticipates commencing Phase 1 clinical trials of IM-250 in late 2022 or early 2023.

Treatment Insights

Herpes Simplex Virus-1 (HSV-1) treatment dominated the overall market in 2022 with a revenue share of over 83.0%. This can be attributed to the increasing prevalence of HSV-1 infection among the population. For instance, according to the WHO, an estimated 3.7 billion of the total population above the age of 50 years are living with HSV-1 infection. Moreover, the market is driven by the increasing risk associated with the transmission of HSV-1 and the infection may be transmitted via contact with the virus through saliva, sores, or even through the genital area through oral-genital contact.

Moreover, the growing burden of Herpes simplex virus-1 encephalitis (HSE), a rare neurological disorder caused by the virus, is expected to boost the growth of the segment. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), HSE affects males and females in equal numbers and usually occurs during early childhood or adulthood. The disorder accounts for 10 percent of all reported cases of encephalitis and nearly 2,000 reported cases of acute encephalitis in the U.S.

Herpes Simplex Virus-1 (HSV-2) treatment is expected to grow at a steady rate of 4.0% during the forecast period. The growth can be attributed to the increasing prevalence of HSV-2 infection aided by an increased risk of reinfection of HSV-2 in people who already have HSV-1 infection. Moreover, the infection can be transmitted from the mother to the offspring, which makes it important to provide proper and early treatment. Companies are working on developing novel treatments. For instance, in October 2021, Cheng Kung University and Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre announced joining forces with United BioPharma for testing the effectiveness of UB-621 and the projected phase II trials are expected to begin in China and the U.S.

Drug Insights

Valacyclovir drug dominated the market in 2022 with a revenue share of over 39.0%. This can be attributed to the cost-effectiveness, availability, and effectiveness offered by valacyclovir in blocking the herpes virus from reproducing in the body, thereby helping to control the symptoms of a herpes outbreak. Moreover, valacyclovir is most widely used for cold sores attributed to its higher absorption rate as acyclovir is broken down by the liver easily when consumed orally. Moreover, according to a study by the American Journal of Ophthalmology, a 500 mg dose of valacyclovir is as effective as an 800 mg dose of acyclovir in preventing HSV eye disease recurrence.

Acyclovir drug is expected to witness the fastest growth of 4.3% during the forecast period owing to the acceptance of acyclovir as the gold standard for the treatment of herpes infection. As per statistics, in 2020, the estimated number of prescriptions of acyclovir in the U.S. were 3,517,810. The drug acts as a first-line antiviral agent available in topical, oral, and intravenous formulations, which, in turn, increases its acceptability among the target population. Moreover, the advent of over-the-counter drugs for infection treatment further fuels market growth. For instance, in August 2022, OTC Zovirax is marketed for the treatment of cold sores and blisters caused due to infections with HSV.

Vaccine Insights

Simplirix vaccine (post-launch) is expected to account for the largest market share in 2024 and is expected to grow at the fastest rate during the forecast period. SB208141 is a vaccine developed by GSK and it has currently completed Phase III of clinical trials. Research and development to develop and provide proficient and effective preventive measures as vaccine candidates are further boosting the growth of the market. Moreover, as no approved vaccine or treatment is available in the market for herpes, there is an increased need to provide and develop novel products.

The other segment is expected to witness lucrative growth during the forecast period. The growth of the segment can be attributed to the existence of vaccine candidates in the pipeline that is expected to be launched in the market during the forecast period. For instance, HSV529 is under development by Sanofi Pasteur, GSK4108771A vaccine is under process by GSK, RVx201 is a live attenuated vaccine for HSV-2, and EXD-12 is currently in the preclinical testing phase. Moreover, initiatives are being taken up by key market players operating in the market to develop and commercialize vaccine candidates suitable for herpes infection. For instance, studies are being conducted to develop mRNA vaccines that are highly effective and safe to be used as suitable vaccine candidates. For instance, mRNA-1608 is an mRNA vaccine candidate under development by Moderna Inc.

Route Of Administration Insights

The oral segment held the largest market share of over 48.0% in 2022. The growth of the segment can be attributed to the effectiveness and ease of administration. Acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir are available as oral formulations. Moreover, studies have shown that acyclovir taken orally reduces the average duration of pain caused due to cold sore by about 36% as compared to a placebo. The healing time with oral acyclovir is 27% faster as compared to other formulations taken for treatment. Furthermore, oral formulations help in providing quick and fast action, thus increasing its acceptance within the population pool.

The topical segment is expected to witness the fastest growth rate of 4.3% during the forecast period. Acyclovir and penciclovir are available as topical formulations in the form of cream. When penciclovir cream is applied every 2 hours, it reduces the duration of pain from about four days to three and a half days. Although topical formulations are widely accepted, they are not intended for the treatment of herpes simplex. They are usually taken to relieve discomfort and pain to help sores heal faster. Moreover, topical formulations are consumer friendly, which makes them feasible and highly acceptable by a wide range of consumers, further increasing their demand during the forecast period.

End-use Insights

Hospital pharmacies dominated the market in 2022 with a revenue share of over 42.0% as these pharmacies are the primary centers for the diagnosis and treatment of patients suffering from herpes infections in both developed and developing economies. Increasing disease prevalence and continuous flow of patients in the hospitals are anticipated to support the growth of the hospital pharmacy segment. Moreover, adequate reimbursement policies and a growing number of hospitals with pharmacies are further driving this segment. Furthermore, the price of hospital pharmaceuticals is based on the agreements between the pharmaceutical company and the hospital pharmacy, particularly in the case of bulk purchases. Therefore, hospital pharmacies have the freedom to negotiate purchasing prices with companies depending on hospital requirements and competition among the suppliers. For instance, a New Zealand government agency, Pharmac, determines which drugs and pharmaceutical products are subsidized for use in public and community hospitals to help patients procure medicines at a subsidized price.

Global herpes simplex virus treatment market share, by end-use, 2022 (%)

Retail pharmacies are expected to grow at a steady rate of 4.13% during the forecast period, which can be attributed to the easy accessibility of over-the-counter products for herpes treatment. Furthermore, counseling of patients regarding treatment options for common symptoms such as cold sores is provided at these pharmacies, thereby providing a unique advantage to the segment.

Regional Insights

North America accounted for the largest share of over 32.4% in 2022. This can be attributed to higher consumption of branded herpes drugs, escalating healthcare expenditure, increasing launch of generics, and favorable reimbursement policies. Moreover, increasing disease prevalence, growing geriatric and immunocompromised population in the region, increasing awareness about STDs, and a rise in serological screening for genital herpes infection are some of the factors driving the regional market. For instance, according to the CDC, about 11.9% of people aged 11-49 years are estimated to be infected in the U.S. In August 2022, U.S.-based Rational Vaccines Inc. announced the launch of a recurrent HSV-2 infection observational clinical trial with 200 patients for its product RVx-001-PSS.

Herpes Simplex Virus Treatment Market Trends by Region

The Asia Pacific is expected to grow at the fastest rate of 9.32% during the forecast period. The growth in this region is due to the geographical expansion of key players in Asian countries, together with developing healthcare infrastructure and growing government initiatives to improve treatment adoption. In addition, the high prevalence of herpes in emerging economies, such as China and India, is expected to support growth. The higher adoption rate of generics for herpes treatment in the region can be attributed to the presence of a large number of local players, thus leading to a fragmented market. Moreover, increasing efforts to develop a vaccine as a preventive measure to stop the spread of infection are propelling the growth of the market.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The leading companies are focusing on joint ventures, strategic alliances, and regional expansion in developing and prosperous regions. For instance, in June 2022, Vaccines AB signed a research and collaboration agreement with Redbiotec AG to expand its portfolio to develop the HSV-2 vaccine. Some prominent players in the global herpes simplex virus treatment market include:

  • GSK plc

  • Carlsbad Tech

  • Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  • Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc.

  • Fresenius Kabi AG

  • Apotex Inc.

  • Mylan N.V.

  • Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.

  • Sanofi

  • Novartis AG 

Herpes Simplex Virus Treatment Market Report Scope 

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2023

USD 1.60 billion

Revenue forecast in 2030

USD 3.13 billion

Growth rate

CAGR of 9.24% from 2023 to 2030

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2018 - 2021

Forecast period

2023 - 2030

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million/billion and CAGR from 2023 to 2030

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Treatment, drug, vaccine, route of administration, end-use, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Germany; U.K.; France; Italy; Spain; China; Japan; India; Australia; South Korea; Brazil; Mexico; Argentina; South Africa; Saudi Arabia; UAE

Key companies profiled

GSK plc; Carlsbad Tech; Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd.; Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Fresenius Kabi AG; Apotex Inc.; Viatris Inc.; Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.; Sanofi; Novartis AG

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analyst’s working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

Pricing and purchase options

Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options


Global Herpes Simplex Virus Treatment Market Segmentation

This report forecasts revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2018 to 2030. For the purpose of this report, Grand View Research has segmented the global herpes simplex virus treatment market report based on treatment, drug, vaccine, route of administration, end-use, and region:

  • Treatment Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • Herpes Simplex Virus-1 (HSV-1)

    • Herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2)

  • Drug Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • Acyclovir

    • Valacyclovir

    • Famciclovir

    • Other Drugs

  • Vaccine Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • Simplirix

    • Others

  • Route of Administration Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • Oral

    • Injectable

    • Topical

  • End-use Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • Hospital Pharmacy

    • Retail Pharmacy

    • Online Pharmacy

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • U.K.

      • France

      • Italy

      • Spain

    • Asia Pacific

      • Japan

      • China

      • India

      • Australia

      • South Korea

    • Latin America

      • Brazil

      • Mexico

      • Argentina

    • Middle East and Africa

      • South Africa

      • Saudi Arabia

      • UAE

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