ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - October 07, 2013) - GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTCQB: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing preventive and therapeutic HIV vaccines, today announced that it has received a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for patent application U.S. 10/336,566 entitled, "Compositions and Methods for Generating an Immune Response." The patent, exclusively licensed from Emory University and the U.S. Government, broadly covers compositions, methods, and uses of the GeoVax's DNA/MVA vaccine in eliciting cellular and humoral immune responses to an HIV antigen.
The allowed claims pursuant to the patent cover advances in the DNA construct portion of GeoVax's vaccine. The DNA construct forms the priming vaccine in the GeoVax HIV vaccine regimen and is followed by boosting administrations made up of a modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) construct. Preclinical studies in primates have shown that simian analogs of GeoVax's DNA/MVA vaccine provide up to 78% per exposure protection against SIV251, a highly virulent strain of simian immunodeficiency virus. Phase 1 testing in humans is ongoing in a trial sponsored by the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, with plans for Phase 2 initiation in 2014.
"This patent is key to the commercialization of our DNA/MVA HIV vaccine technology," said Robert T. McNally, PhD, President and CEO of GeoVax. "We are pleased that the USPTO has confirmed that the claims in our patent application are patentable over the prior art of record."
About GeoVax's Technology
GeoVax's unique, two component vaccine, a recombinant DNA and a recombinant modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA), is designed to stimulate both anti-HIV T cell and anti-HIV antibody immune responses. GeoVax's DNA and MVA vaccines are used in a prime/boost protocol in which priming is done with the DNA and boosting with the MVA. Both the DNA and MVA express the three major proteins of the AIDS virus: Gag, Pol, and Env, and produce non-infectious virus-like-particles. GeoVax's vaccines are unique in expressing virus-like particles that display the trimeric membrane bound form of the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein. In GeoVax's second generation vaccine, the DNA prime co-expresses GM-CSF with the virus-like particles, delivering a normal human protein that stimulates immune responses to the site of vaccination. All preventative Phase 1 human clinical trials conducted to date tested various combinations and doses of the DNA and MVA vaccines, their ability to raise anti-HIV humoral (antibody) and cellular (cytotoxic T cell) immune responses, as well as the vaccines' safety. For more information, please visit www.geovax.com.
AIDS is an epidemic that can affect anyone, regardless of race, gender, age or sexual orientation. 33 million people are currently infected globally; it is estimated that there will be 2.5 million new infections this year. Since the beginning of the epidemic, more than a million people in the U.S. have contracted the virus. More than a quarter of new US infections are in youths aged 13 to 24; and of those, 60 percent do not know they are infected. Globally, HIV is the top killer among women of reproductive age. HIV is a worldwide disease with different subtypes (or clades) of the virus predominating in different regions of the world. Clade B is the predominant subtype in North America. Globally, most infections involve subtypes AG, B and C. GeoVax vaccines are currently designed to function against clade B.
Certain statements in this document are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act These statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may differ materially from those included in these statements due to a variety of factors, including whether: GeoVax can develop and manufacture its vaccines with the desired characteristics in a timely manner, GeoVax's vaccines will be safe for human use, GeoVax's vaccines will effectively prevent AIDS in humans, vaccines will receive regulatory approvals necessary to be licensed and marketed, GeoVax raises required capital to complete vaccine development, there is development of competitive products that may be more effective or easier to use than GeoVax's products, GeoVax will be able to enter into favorable manufacturing and distribution.