ATLANTA, GA - (NewMediaWire) - September 08, 2015 - GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTCQB: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing human vaccines using its novel platform technology, announced today that its investigational Ebola vaccine candidate, GOVX-E301, provided 100 percent protection in guinea pigs and Syrian golden hamsters, two rodent models for Ebolavirus infections. The GOVX-E301 vaccine uses a recombinant modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vector to express non-infectious virus-like particles (VLPs) using genetic sequences from the 2014 Ebolavirus outbreak in West Africa. The studies were conducted in collaboration with, and funded in part by, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
"We are very pleased with the outcome of this study," commented Harriet L. Robinson, Ph.D., GeoVax's Chief Scientific Officer. "Through our ongoing research, we have anticipated that GeoVax's VLPs would elicit a strong immune response, and we had already demonstrated the production of Ebola VLPs in human cells. The next steps will be vaccination and challenge studies in nonhuman primates while also preparing for cGMP manufacturing of the vaccine for human clinical trials."
"GeoVax is committed to developing an Ebola vaccine with a superior safety and efficacy profile as compared to those of other vaccine candidates under development," said Robert T. McNally, Ph.D., GeoVax's President and Chief Executive Officer. "There are currently no approved vaccines for filoviruses (including Ebola virus) anywhere on the globe. The 2014/15 West African Ebola epidemic has caused over 28,000 infections, resulting in over 11,300 deaths. Considering the unpredictable and regular outbreaks of Ebolavirus infections, the development of vaccines that broadly protect against multiple filoviruses is a global priority. We believe our Ebola vaccine candidates have the potential to provide support in this effort, and we look forward to updating our shareholders as we move ahead."
About GeoVax's Ebola Vaccines
GeoVax began its Ebola vaccine development program in late 2014, using its non-infectious virus-like particle (VLP) technology and modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vector system originally developed for its HIV vaccine program. The Company first developed a vaccine for the recent epidemic in West Africa: a Zaire ebolavirus vaccine. In early 2015 the company expanded the program to include two other major filoviruses: Sudan Ebolavirus and Marburg virus, with the goal of developing a series of individual vaccines (monovalent) that will address each of the lethal strains of Ebola virus (Zaire, Sudan and Bundibugyo) and Marburg virus. The Company also plans to develop a multivalent vaccine, which will incorporate multiple monovalent vaccines to protect against the three strains of Ebola and Marburg with a single product. For testing purposes, GeoVax's first focus is on the monovalent vaccine for the Zaire strain of Ebola, designated GOVX-E301.
GeoVax's vaccine platform induces production of VLPs from the cells of the person receiving the vaccine. The production of VLPs in the person being vaccinated (in vivo) mimics a natural infection, stimulating both the humoral and cellular arms of the immune system to recognize, prevent and control the target infection should it appear. Producing VLPs in vivo also circumvents the need to purify virus-like particles for inoculation.
GeoVax Labs, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing human vaccines against infectious diseases using its novel vaccine platform. Current development programs are focused on vaccines against Ebola and Marburg viruses, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). GeoVax believes its technology and vaccine development expertise is well-suited for a wide variety of human infectious diseases for which there is an unmet medical need, and intends to pursue expansion of its product pipeline.
Clinical trials for GeoVax's preventive HIV vaccines have been conducted by the NIH-supported HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) with funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID). Overall, GeoVax's HIV vaccines, in various doses and combinations, have been tested in about 500 humans. For more information, go to www.geovax.com.
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 HIV or Ebola infection 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 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.