Therapeutic Vaccine Would Address Medical Need of Over 250 Million Worldwide
Atlanta, GA – (NewMediaWire) – April 01, 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 that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance for Patent Application No. 16/305,305 entitled “Composition and Methods of Generating an Immune Response to Hepatitis B Virus.”
The work supporting the patent application was performed through a collaboration between GeoVax and Georgia State University and the patent is jointly owned by the Company and the Georgia State University Research Foundation (GSURF).
David Dodd, GeoVax’s Chairman & CEO, commented, “There is a clear, critical unmet medical need to treat chronic HBV infections, which affects over 250 million people worldwide. For many infected people, Hepatitis B has become a long-term, chronic infection that can lead to serious, or even life-threatening health issues like cirrhosis or liver cancer. Multiple vaccines exist to protect against HBV infection, but they cannot help patients already diagnosed with the disease. Although chronic HBV can be treated with drugs, the treatments do not cure 95% of patients, only suppressing the replication of the virus, forcing those who begin such treatments to continue with them for the rest of their lives.
“While our corporate focus and development priorities continue to be our COVID-19 vaccine and cancer immunotherapy programs, developing a treatment for chronic Hepatitis B infections is also of interest and under consideration as part of our longer-term focus. This patent allowance adds to our growing portfolio of wholly owned, co-owned, and in-licensed intellectual property, which now stands at over 70 granted or pending patent applications spread over 20 patent families,” concluded Mr. Dodd.
“This project is a good example of how the combined expertise and talent of academic researchers and industry partners can solve problems, innovate, and create value,” added Clifford Michaels, Ph.D., Director of Georgia State University’s Office of Technology Transfer and Commercialization. “We were excited to partner with GeoVax on this project and are looking forward to seeing this technology continue to advance.”
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).
This release and the related conference call contain 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 realize potential benefits from the patent protection it has received, GeoVax’s vaccines can provoke the desired immune responses, and those vaccines can be used effectively as a primary or booster to other 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, and other factors, over which GeoVax has no control.
Further information on our risk factors is contained in our registration statement on Form S-1 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.