Latest GeoVax News
GeoVax Presents Zika Vaccine Data at Scientific Conference
Vaccine Based on Zika NS1 Protein Achieved 100% Protection
in Lethal Challenge Model with a Single Immunization
GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTCQB: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing human vaccines, announced that its Chief Scientific Officer, Farshad Guirakhoo, PhD, gave a comprehensive presentation of results from studies of GeoVax’s NS-1 based Zika vaccine. Dr. Guirakhoo delivered the talk, entitled “A Novel Alternative Approach to Develop a Safe Vaccine for Zika,” today during the Advances in Vaccine Technologies session at the Immuno-Oncology Summit in Boston, MA.
Dr. Guirakhoo presented research showing that a single dose of GeoVax’s Zika vaccine gave 100% protection in normal mice challenged with a lethal dose of Zika virus (ZIKV) delivered directly into the brain. This is the first report of i) a Zika vaccine based on the ZIKV NS1 protein, and ii) single-dose full protection against ZIKV using an immunocompetent lethal mouse challenge model.
The vaccine was tested at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Ft. Collins, CO. with funding by a grant from the CDC. In the study, outbred immunocompetent mice were exposed to a lethal challenge dose of ZIKV delivered directly into the brain. A single dose of GeoVax’s NS1 vaccine candidate protected 100% of vaccinated animals. In contrast, 80-90% of sham-immunized control animals died within ~7 days.
GeoVax selected the ZIKV NS1 antigen as the target immunogen for its vaccine, as recent findings indicate a potential risk of disease enhancement using traditional Zika vaccine approaches based on the ZIKV envelope proteins. This “Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE) of infection” phenomena has been shown between ZIKV and related flaviviruses, such as West Nile and dengue, in both in vitro and in vivo studies. Mice given dengue or West Nile anti-envelope antibodies were more likely to die in the 2 weeks after the ZIKV infection than mice without these antibodies. An NS1-based vaccine avoids the ADE risk since this protein is not packaged into the virus particles, and is not involved in ADE. This approach holds the promise for a highly effective, yet safer than enveloped based Zika vaccine for humans who live in the areas where the Zika virus co-circulates with other flaviviruses.
GeoVax Labs, Inc., is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing human vaccines against infectious diseases using its Modified Vaccinia Ankara-Virus Like Particles (MVA-VLP) vaccine platform. The Company’s development programs are focused on vaccines against HIV, Zika, hemorrhagic fever viruses (Ebola, Sudan, Marburg, Lassa) and malaria. GeoVax also is evaluating the use of its MVA-VLP platform in cancer immunotherapy, and for therapeutic use in chronic Hepatitis B infections. GeoVax’s vaccine platform supports in vivo production of non-infectious VLPs from the cells of the very 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. For more information, visit 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 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.