|By Marketwired .||
|August 1, 2013 06:00 PM EDT||
ATLANTA, GA -- (Marketwired) -- 08/01/13 -- GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTCQB: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing vaccines to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, announced today it has received a Notice of Award from the U.S. National Institutes of Health for a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant entitled "Enhancing Protective Antibody Responses for a GM-CSF Adjuvanted HIV Vaccine." The grant award of approximately $277,000 is for the first year of a two-year project period. Subject to availability of funds and satisfactory progress of the project, GeoVax expects a similar award for the second year of the project period.
This grant will support preclinical studies evaluating the ability of protein boosts to augment antibody responses that can block virus infections (neutralizing antibody) and cause antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC antibody). The protein boosts will test gp120 and gp140 subunits of the HIV envelope. Suefen Kwa, Ph.D., GeoVax's Assistant Director for HIV Vaccine Development, is the Principal Investigator for the grant.
"This grant affords us the opportunity to explore the effects of subunit boosts on the antibody elicited by the natural gp160 form of Env displayed on virus-like particles produced by our DNA/MVA vaccine," said Harriet Robinson, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of GeoVax. "We believe the data generated by these studies will be important to GeoVax and to others in the HIV vaccine field for understanding how subunit protein boosts affect the specificity and durability of antibody responses primed by the natural form of the HIV envelope protein."
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. GeoVax's vaccines are currently undergoing evaluation in human clinical trials for both preventive and therapeutic use. 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 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.
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