Atlanta, GA – (NewMediaWire) – September 3, 2020 – GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTCQB: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing human vaccines and immunotherapies against infectious diseases and cancer, announced today the publication of peer-reviewed data of a new vaccine candidate utilizing the company’s GV-MVA-VLP™ platform against Marburg virus in animal models. The study, based on research conducted in 2019, was published on September 2, 2020 in Nature Partner Journals (NPJ) Vaccines.
The study demonstrated that guinea pigs vaccinated with GeoVax’s developmental MVA-MARV-VLP vaccine were 100% protected against death and disease caused by the Angola strain of Marburg virus. The vaccine induced immune responses were characterized by Marburg virus-specific binding and neutralizing antibodies. The Angola strain is the most virulent strain of Marburg Virus characterized by up to a 90% fatality rate in humans and a successful vaccination approach is of paramount public health importance.
David Dodd, GeoVax President and CEO, commented, “These results demonstrated important progress in the development of our Marburg virus vaccine — providing a basis for more advanced studies proceeding toward human safety and efficacy trials. We are grateful to Dr. Alexander Bukreyev from the University of Texas Medical Branch and Galveston National Laboratory and his team of investigators for their work in conducting and publishing this research. We look forward to continuing our work in developing this vaccine.”
GeoVax’s Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) platform technology is built on a novel MVA vector, with the intended result of producing durable immune responses with the safety characteristics of the replication deficient MVA vector and cost-effective manufacturing system. Importantly, MVA vaccines often elicit protective T cell as well as antibody responses in animals and humans. The GeoVax MVA platform can be combined with the immunogenicity of Virus Like Particles (VLPs) through insertion of multiple antigens from each target pathogen conferring broad protection This strategy expresses proteins in their native conformations, potentially enabling construction of vaccine candidates that can induce protection after a single dose. Single dose protection is a favourable characteristic of preventive vaccines for emerging infectious disease outbreak response, given the speed of spread of pathogens and the impracticality of multi-dose regimens in the under-resourced settings where outbreaks often occurs. MVA-VLP vaccine candidates against various virus families (e.g. Ebola, Lassa and Zika) induced strong antibody and T cell responses and demonstrated protection after single dose vaccinations in animal studies against lethal challenges.
About Marburg Virus
Marburg virus (MARV) is a hemorrhagic fever virus of the Filoviridae family, which also includes Ebola, and causes severe human disease with up to a 90% fatality rate. MARV is rated by the World Health Organization as a Risk Group 4 Pathogen. In the United States, the NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases ranks it as a Category A Priority Pathogen and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists it as a Category A Bioterrorism Agent. MARV typically appears in sporadic outbreaks throughout Africa. The virus continues to pose potential public health and biodefense threats. There are currently no licensed vaccines or therapeutics against the diseases caused by MARV.
GeoVax Labs, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing human vaccines against infectious diseases and cancer using a novel proprietary vaccine platform (GV-MVA-VLP™). On this platform, MVA, a large virus capable of carrying several vaccine antigens, expresses proteins that assemble into VLP immunogens within the person receiving the vaccine (in vivo). The production of VLPs in the person being vaccinated can mimic 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. GV-MVA-VLP™ derived vaccines have elicited 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 COVID-19, HIV, Zika, hemorrhagic fever viruses (Ebola, Sudan, Marburg, and Lassa), and malaria, as well as therapeutic vaccines against multiple cancers. The Company has developed preventive HIV vaccine candidate (GOVX-B11) for the clade B subtype of HIV prevalent in the Americas, Western Europe, Japan, and Australia and the clade C subtype prevalent in Africa and India. GOVX-B11 is scheduled for inclusion in an upcoming human clinical trial managed by the HVTN with the support of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). GeoVax’s clade B HIV vaccine is also part of collaborative efforts to develop an immunotherapy as a functional cure for HIV.
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 targeted infections in humans, GeoVax’s 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 agreements, and other factors, over which GeoVax has no control. GeoVax assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements and does not intend to do so. More information about these factors is contained in GeoVax’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including those set forth at “Risk Factors” in GeoVax’s Form 10-K.
GeoVax Labs, Inc.