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GeoVax Zika Vaccine Study Published in the Atlas of Science

GeoVax Zika Vaccine Provides Potential for 100% Protection & Reduced Side-Effect Risks

ATLANTA, GA, Jan. 24, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via NEWMEDIAWIRE -- GeoVax Labs, Inc. (GOVX), a biotechnology company developing human vaccines, today announced the publication of a manuscript entitled “A Vaccine Candidate for Zika with Potential for Reduced Risk of Antibody-Dependent Enhancement (ADE).”  The article is published in the open-access journal Atlas of Science and can be viewed at http://atlasofscience.org/a-vaccine-candidate-for-zika-with-potential-for-reduced-risk-of-antibody-dependent-enhancement-ade/#more-27090

The article reports a major step forward in the development of a vaccine for protection against Zika virus (ZIKV). Testing in a highly rigorous challenge model showed the GeoVax vaccine, GEO-ZM02, provided 100% protection to mice infected with a lethal dose of ZIKV delivered directly into the brain. The study was funded by a grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which also provided technical assistance.

GEO-ZM02 not only has the potential of a single-dose vaccine, which is practical to combat epidemics in resource-strained countries, but also does not bear the risk of enhancing other flavivirus infections, such as Dengue serotypes 1-4. This phenomenon, called Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE) of infection, has been shown to increase severity of Dengue infection in vivo, and is a safety concern for other Zika vaccines under development that utilize the structural Envelope (E) protein of ZIKV for their vaccine construct. GEO-ZM02 is based on the non-structural 1 (NS1) protein of ZIKV, which is not packaged into the virions and is not involved in ADE. Moreover, the NS1 protein is abundantly secreted into the blood of a ZIKV-infected individual and has been shown to play a critical role in flavivirus acquisition by mosquitoes by overcoming the immune barrier of the mosquito midgut. Therefore, a vaccine that targets the NS1 protein has the potential to protect both humans and mosquitoes from ZIKV infection; a novel vaccination strategy that could stem epidemics at a low vaccine coverage.

Results of the study were originally published in the peer-reviewed open access journal Scientific Reports by Nature Research and can be viewed at www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-15039-8.

About Atlas of Science

Atlas of Science was started by scientists to promote the dissemination of scientific research and provides the opportunity for scientists to write and publish a short and accessible layman summary of their latest research, based on peer-reviewed articles.

About GeoVax

GeoVax Labs, Inc., is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing human vaccines against infectious diseases using its patented MVA-VLP vaccine platform. GeoVax was the winner of the 2018 “Best Biotech” Vaccine Industry Excellence Awards, a finalist for the 2018 “Best Prophylactic Vaccine” Award for its Zika vaccine at the World Vaccine Congress, as well as a finalist for Pipelines of Promise at Buzz of Bio 2018. The Company’s development programs are focused on vaccines against Zika, hemorrhagic fever viruses (Ebola, Sudan, Marburg and Lassa), HIV 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 and in treating Human Papillomavirus (HPV) 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 https://www.geovax.com.

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