Company Offers Novel Ebola Vaccine for Public Health Use…Gratis
ATLANTA, GA, July 30, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via NEWMEDIAWIRE -- GeoVax Labs, Inc. (GOVX), a biotechnology company developing human vaccines and immunotherapies, today responded to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recent declaration of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as a global public health emergency. The Company is offering its novel Ebola preventive vaccine (GEO-EM01), gratis, for public health use, contingent upon WHO or related agencies advancing the vaccine into human clinical evaluation. GeoVax believes its vaccine to be distinctly superior to the experimental vaccine currently in use in failing attempts to contain the epidemic.
GeoVax has demonstrated that a single intramuscular (IM) dose of GEO-EM01 provided 100% protection in rhesus macaques challenged with a lethal dose of Ebola virus (EBOV). This is the first report that a replication-deficient MVA vector can confer full protection against a lethal EBOV challenge after a single-dose vaccination in macaques. GEO-EM01 is based on the Company’s novel Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) Virus-Like Particle (VLP) platform, which generates noninfectious VLPs in the individual being vaccinated. VLPs mimic a natural infection, triggering the body to produce a robust and durable immune response with both antibodies and T cells.
There is currently no licensed vaccine to protect people from the Ebola virus. An experimental vaccine with a limited supply is currently being used in the DRC. This vaccine can protect after a single dose but has caused mild to moderate adverse side effects that included headache, fatigue, and muscle pain in half of the vaccinated subjects. The experimental vaccine also has the logistical challenge of limited stability under conditions of normal refrigeration or room temperature storage. In contrast, GEO-EM01 avoids the logistical challenges that exist with the current experimental vaccine in use.
David Dodd, GeoVax CEO, stated, “We recognize the critical medical and humanitarian need for a preventive vaccine against Ebola and are pleased to offer GEO-EM01, gratis, to WHO and other public health agencies with the resources and commitment to advance the vaccine into human evaluation and use as soon as possible. To date, all the development evidence in support of GEO-EM01 suggests the potential for single-dose prevention without the need for refrigeration and other challenges related to distribution and use within the endemic areas. Our goal and commitment is to ensure the highest level of prevention and protection for those at risk of infection from the Ebola virus. We believe that GEO-EM01 provides a significant step forward in addressing the Ebola global health emergency and we are proud to extend this offer.”
In addition to its vaccine for Ebola, GeoVax is also developing preventive vaccines for other hemorrhagic fever viruses highly lethal to humans. The Company recently announced preclinical results for its vaccine against Marburg virus (GEO-EM05), which demonstrated 100% protection. Similar results were observed for GeoVax’s Lassa Fever vaccine (GEO-LM01), which is progressing in advanced preclinical studies with funding support from the U.S. Department of Defense.
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 within (in vivo) the 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. The MVA-VLP derived vaccines 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 HIV, Zika Virus, hemorrhagic fever viruses (Ebola, Sudan, Marburg, and Lassa), and malaria, as well as therapeutic vaccines against chronic Hepatitis B infections and multiple cancers. The Company has designed the leading preventative HIV vaccine candidate to fight against the subtype of HIV prevalent in the larger commercial markets of the Americas, Western Europe, Japan, and Australia; this program is currently undergoing human clinical trials 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 collaborative efforts to develop an immunotherapy as a functional cure for HIV. For more information, visit www.geovax.com.
GeoVax Labs, Inc.