Presentation Made at the 10th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science
ATLANTA, GA, July 24, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via NEWMEDIAWIRE -- GeoVax Labs, Inc. (GOVX), a biotechnology company specializing in developing human vaccines, announced today that Harriet L. Robinson, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer Emeritus and Director of the Company’s HIV Vaccine program, delivered an oral presentation entitled, Protein-Supplemented DNA/MVA Vaccines: Preclinical Immunogenicity and Protection for Transmitted/Founder and CD4-induced gp120 Proteins, during the 10th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science, being held July 21-24 in Mexico City.
In her talk, Dr. Robinson reported on studies in 72 rhesus macaques evaluating the effects of the addition of gp120 proteins to the MVA boosts of a DNA prime-MVA boost vaccine regimen. The gp120 boosts consisted of a gp120 protein from a transmitted/founder virus (to present the receptor-binding form of gp120) and a CD4 receptor-induced gp120 protein (to present the fusion-intermediate form of gp120). Both intramuscular and subcutaneous delivery of the boosts were tested. The gp120 boosts strongly enhanced the magnitude and breadth of binding antibodies (bAbs) to gp120. The CD4-induced, but not the transmitted/founder gp120, strongly enhanced bAbs for the V1V2 region of gp120, a specificity that correlated with reduced infection in the partially successful RV144 HIV vaccine trial in Thailand. The subcutaneous, but not the intramuscular injections, for the gp120 proteins reduced the level of post challenge infection.
A similar study in humans (GOVX-B11 DNA prime and MVA boost vaccine with or without protein boosts) is advancing in clinical trials through the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN). The HVTN is supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“In response to these studies in non-human primates, our next clinical trial in humans (HVTN 132) will compare subcutaneous with intramuscular deliveries of protein boosts and whether the simpler monovalent CD4-induced gp120 is as effective at eliciting the desired antibody responses as the bivalent protein boost,” said Dr. Robinson. “The first inoculations in HVTN 132 are anticipated to take place during the second half of 2019.”
The Need for an HIV Vaccine
In the United States, there are approximately 1.2 million people living with HIV, and another 40,000 are infected each year. An estimated 26% of all new HIV cases occur in young people aged 13-24 years, with diagnosis rates increasing 10.5% per year in this age group. Within this group, minorities are disproportionally affected; nearly 60% of new infections occur in African Americans and 20% in Hispanic-Latinos. Worldwide, AIDS has killed nearly 39 million people since the epidemic began, and an estimated 37 million people are currently living with HIV infection. Despite improved access to antiretroviral treatment, the AIDS epidemic claims an estimated 2 million lives each year. HIV infection rates in the U.S. have remained virtually unchanged for more than 20 years. These statistics highlight the very clear need for an effective preventative HIV vaccine.
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) platform. On this platform, MVA, a large virus capable of carrying several vaccine antigens, expresses proteins that assemble into VLP immunogens within 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 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 preventative 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 epithelial as well as solid cancers. The Company has designed the leading preventative vaccine candidate for the subtype B form of HIV, which is prevalent in the Americas, Western Europe, Japan, and Australia. This program is currently advancing in 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.