GeoVax’s Unique Multi-Antigenic Vaccine Approach Designed to Provide Stronger, Broader Protection Against Malaria
Atlanta, GA, April 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — GeoVax Labs, Inc. (NASDAQ: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing human vaccines and immunotherapies against infectious diseases and cancer, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued Patent No. 11,311,612 to GeoVax, pursuant to the Company’s patent application No. 16/648,693 titled “Compositions and Methods for Generating an Immune Response to Treat or Prevent Malaria.” In general, the claims granted in the patent cover GeoVax’s modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vector expressing certain antigens from the malaria parasite.
Globally, malaria causes 228 million infections and 405,000 deaths annually. Despite decades of vaccine research, vaccine candidates have failed to induce substantial protection (e.g. >50%). Most of these vaccines are based on individual proteins that induce immune responses targeting only one stage of the malaria parasite’s life cycle. GeoVax’s MVA-VLP malaria vaccine candidates incorporate antigens derived from multiple stages of the parasite’s life cycle and are designed to induce an immune response with durable functional antibodies and CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses, all hallmarks of an ideal vaccine-induced immune response.
David Dodd, GeoVax President and CEO, commented, “We remain strongly committed to advancing innovation towards improving public health worldwide and this patent reflects a potentially significant advance relative to malaria prevention. Our development priorities continue to be our COVID-19 vaccine, currently in Phase 2 clinical trials, and our cancer immunotherapy program, with Gedeptin® as our lead product in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for Head and Neck cancer. However, developing vaccines against global public health threats such as malaria, is also part of our longer-term focus. Collaborations with government and academic institutions, such as the NIH, USAID, and the Burnet Institute, will continue to be components of our efforts to design, produce and test novel vaccines against malaria. Our goals include developing such vaccines that are affordable, highly effective, safe, and can be distributed and administrated across various regions of the world in a simple manner.”
About the GV-MVA-VLP™ Platform
GeoVax’s GV-MVA-VLP™ vaccine platform utilizes modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA), a large virus capable of carrying several vaccine antigens, that expresses proteins that assemble into virus-like particles (VLP) immunogens in the person receiving the vaccine. The production of VLPs in the person being vaccinated can mimic the virus production that occurs 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 Labs, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing human vaccines and immunotherapies against infectious diseases and cancer using novel proprietary platforms. GeoVax’s product pipeline includes two ongoing Phase 2 clinical trials of GEO-CM04S1 (formerly COH04S1) for COVID-19 as a universal booster vaccine to mRNA vaccines authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and as a primary vaccine for use in immunocompromised patients. In addition to GEO-CM04S1 for COVID-19, GeoVax is developing GEO-CM02 as a pan-coronavirus vaccine. The Company is also conducting a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of Gedeptin® for treatment of head and neck cancer. Gedeptin® has been granted orphan drug status by the FDA. Additional research and development programs include preventive vaccines against Zika Virus, hemorrhagic fever viruses (Ebola, Sudan, Marburg, and Lassa) and malaria, as well as immunotherapies for multiple solid tumors. The Company’s portfolio of wholly owned, co-owned, and in-licensed intellectual property stands at over 70 granted or pending patent applications spread over 20 patent families.