GeoVax Observes 2019 World AIDS Day
Developing Multiple Strategies Toward Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic
ATLANTA, GA, December 2, 2019 – GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTC: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing human immunotherapies and vaccines against infectious diseases and cancer, today noted its observance of World AIDS Day 2019. World AIDS Day is a global initiative to raise awareness, fight prejudice, and improve education about HIV and AIDS.
“The U.S. federal theme for the 2019 World AIDS Day observance is Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community,” commented David Dodd, GeoVax President & CEO. “GeoVax is committed to an AIDS-free generation through vaccine and immunotherapy development, and today we would like to highlight our continuing contributions to this effort, as well as recognize the work being done by our partners and collaborators. Defeating HIV/AIDS will require a multi-pronged approach, encompassing multiple strategies for both prevention and treatment of the disease, and we are pleased to be contributing in multiple areas.”
“Our preventive HIV vaccine candidate (GOVX-B11) was originally conceived under the leadership of our scientific founder, Dr. Harriet Robinson, in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Emory University. The development of this vaccine from preclinical studies to human clinical trials has been financially supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) with support from NIAID, has conducted multiple human clinical trials of our preventive HIV vaccine candidates, and continues advancing our vaccine in clinical studies. We are now planning for a new Phase 1 human clinical trial (designated HVTN 132), which we expect will begin in mid-2020.”
“On the immunotherapy side, we are excited about participating in the upcoming clinical trial led by researchers at American Gene Technologies (AGT) (www.americangene.com), to develop a therapy aimed at eliminating HIV from infected people (a “functional cure”). AGT has submitted an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its lead HIV program, AGT103-T, a lentiviral vector-based gene therapy and, upon clearance by the FDA, AGT expects to begin recruiting patients for the Phase 1 study in January 2020. GeoVax will provide our novel MVA-VLP HIV vaccine (MVA62B) for evaluation in an arm of the clinical trial in combination with AGT103-T.”
“We are also participating in a collaborative effort led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), to develop a combinational therapy aimed at inducing remission in HIV-positive individuals; representing a different approach from the AGT trial, but with the same goal of a “functional cure”. The studies will be conducted with funding from amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. As with the AGT trial, GeoVax will provide its novel boost component (MVA62B) for use in the studies. Patient enrollment for the clinical trial is expected to commence in early 2020.”
Mr. Dodd concluded, “Around the world, about 37 million people are living with HIV, 2.1 million of which are children. In the United States, more than 1.1 million people are living with HIV, and 1 in 7 of them don’t know it. Regardless of the various drug-therapy approaches, this deadly epidemic will not end until a safe and effective preventive vaccine is available for those at risk. These HIV/AIDS figures are unacceptable, and GeoVax and our collaborators will not be satisfied until there exists an effective vaccine solution to address this continued major healthcare issue.”
GeoVax Labs, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing human vaccines against infectious diseases and cancer using a novel patented MVA-VLP based vaccine platform. On this platform, MVA, a large virus capable of carrying several vaccine antigens, expresses proteins that assemble into VLP immunogens within (in vivo) the person receiving the vaccine. The production of VLPs in the person being vaccinated mimics virus production in a natural infection, stimulating both the humoral and cellular arms of the immune system to recognize, prevent, and control the target infection. The MVA-VLP derived vaccines elicit durable immune responses in the host similar to a live-attenuated virus, while providing the safety characteristics of a replication-defective vector.
GeoVax’s current development programs are focused on preventive vaccines against HIV, Zika Virus, hemorrhagic fever viruses (Ebola, Sudan, Marburg, and Lassa), and malaria, as well as therapeutic vaccines against chronic Hepatitis B infections and multiple cancers. The Company has designed the leading preventative HIV vaccine candidate to fight against the subtype of HIV prevalent in the larger commercial markets of the Americas, Western Europe, Japan, and Australia; this program is currently undergoing human clinical trials managed by the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) with the support of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). GeoVax’s HIV vaccine is also part of collaborative efforts to develop an immunotherapy as a functional cure for HIV. For more information, visit www.geovax.com.
GeoVax Labs, Inc.