Filings Made in Corporate Focus Areas of SARS-CoV-2 and Immuno-Oncology
Atlanta, GA, March 4, 2021 – GeoVax Labs, Inc. (NasdaqCM: GOVX) (“GeoVax” or the “Company”), a biotechnology company developing human immunotherapies and vaccines against infectious diseases and cancer, today announced the filing of two additional patent applications important to the Company’s key focus on vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and cancer immunotherapies.
The Company has filed an International Patent Application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty to protect its proprietary COVID-19 vaccines based on its platform modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) viral vector technology. Unlike certain competitor vaccines that target only the COVID-19 spike protein, GeoVax’s vaccines are designed to provoke a response to multiple COVID-19 antigens, which are differentiated from competitive vaccines in that they may be less susceptible to viral mutations in the spike protein region that have emerged as problematic in multiple regions of the world. The Company’s vaccines are intended to be used as a primary vaccine or to boost COVID-19 vaccines from other companies as part of vaccination strategies to provide immunity to a range of SARS-CoV-2 variants.
GeoVax also filed a U.S. patent application as part of its immunotherapy program, which covers updates in its innovative MVA viral vector technology to amplify an immune response to a cancer antigen in a patient via vaccination. Cancer vaccination is the subject of growing interest as a means to boost the body’s innate defense to cancer.
David Dodd, GeoVax’s Chairman & CEO, commented, “These patent filings reflect our continued progress in advancing high-value development programs while seeking the strongest intellectual property portfolio possible. We continue to develop and strengthen our assets within the two strategic areas of COVID-19 and immuno-oncology, with a focus on accelerating each towards clinical development. With these filings, our wholly owned, co-owned, and in-licensed intellectual property portfolio now stands at over 70 granted or pending patent applications spread over 20 patent families. Over the past few months, we have successfully capitalized the Company, strengthened our balance sheet, expanded our IP portfolio and accelerated developments to upcoming important data milestones. We look forward to further advancing our programs and continued growth in GeoVax value.”
GeoVax Labs, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing human vaccines against infectious diseases and cancer using a novel patented Modified Vaccinia Ankara-Virus Like Particle (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 in the person receiving the vaccine. 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. The MVA-VLP derived vaccines can 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 COVID-19, HIV, Zika Virus, hemorrhagic fever viruses (Ebola, Sudan, Marburg, and Lassa), and malaria, as well as therapeutic vaccines against multiple cancers. The Company has designed a preventive HIV vaccine candidate to fight against the subtype of HIV prevalent in the commercial markets of the Americas, Western Europe, Japan, and Australia; human clinical trials for this program are 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 two separate collaborative efforts to apply its innovative gene therapy approach toward a functional cure for HIV.
About Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA)
The creation of our MVA viral vectors described in our patent filings was made possible through contribution of materials and methods developed in the laboratory of Dr. Bernard Moss of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Laboratory of Viral Diseases (LVD).
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements regarding GeoVax’s business plans and financial results. The words “believe,” “may,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “should,” “plan,” “could,” “target,” “potential,” “is likely,” “will,” “expect” and similar expressions, as they relate to us, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. Actual results may differ materially from those included in these statements due to a variety of factors, including whether: GeoVax is able to obtain the patent protection sought, GeoVax’s COVID-19 vaccines can provoke responses to multiple COVID-19 antigens, and those vaccines can be used effectively as a primary or booster to other COVID-19 vaccines, GeoVax’s viral vector technology adequately amplifies immune responses to cancer antigens, 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, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and other factors, over which GeoVax has no control.
Further information on our risk factors is contained in our registration statement on Form S-3 and the periodic reports on Form 10-Q and Form 10-K that we have filed and will file with the SEC. Any forward-looking statement made by us herein speaks only as of the date on which it is made. Factors or events that could cause our actual results to differ may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all of them. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required by law.