Los Angeles-Based AIDS Research Alliance Selected as Site to Test Therapeutic vaccine
GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTCQB/OTCBB: GOVX), a biotechnology company that creates, develops and tests innovative HIV/AIDS vaccines, announced today the opening of a third site for testing the therapeutic potential of its HIV/AIDS vaccine. The Los Angeles-based AIDS Research Alliance (ARA) will join with two existing members of GeoVax's clinical trial site team: the AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta and the Alabama Vaccine Research Clinic at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The ARA is the nation's only independent, nonprofit HIV/AIDS research institute.
The therapeutic trial is the first trial to test the GeoVax vaccine as a possible treatment for HIV-infected people. Studies with simian prototypes of the vaccine in infected non-human primates have demonstrated the ability to control viral replication in the absence of anti-viral drugs. The clinical trial in HIV-infected patients will test safety, vaccine-induced immune responses and the ability of the vaccine to control viral replication.
"We are excited to expand our therapeutic trial team to include the AIDS Research Alliance," said Mark Newman, PhD, Vice President of Research and Development at GeoVax. "They are a group with a mission that parallels that of GeoVax, developing a vaccine to prevent infection by HIV and developing better treatments for those who become infected."
Dr. Stephen Brown, ARA's medical director, said, "The ARA leadership is very familiar with the GeoVax HIV vaccine products through our involvement with the HVTN, and we are excited to participate in this clinical trial. The development of new products and approaches that build upon existing antiretroviral drugs regimens would be a major breakthrough."
To be eligible for the study, potential volunteers must have started antiretroviral therapy within 18 months of a negative HIV antibody test and must remain on stable antiretroviral therapy for six months prior to receiving their first dose of the vaccines. Multiple potential candidates, identified through the AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta and the Alabama Vaccine Research Clinic, are currently in the six-month antiretroviral therapy period and the vaccination segment of the clinical trial will soon be initiated.
The GeoVax vaccines are currently being tested in HIV-uninfected persons in a Phase 2 clinical trial by the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN). The HVTN trials are funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health. The therapeutic trial is the first GeoVax trial designed to test these vaccines as a treatment for HIV-infected persons.
About AIDS Research Alliance
AIDS Research Alliance is the U.S.'s only independent, nonprofit research institute dedicated to the search for a cure for AIDS. Since its founding in 1989, ARA's physicians have been involved in studies and clinical trials on nearly half the life-saving antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS today. ARA is a leader in AIDS cure research and holds the license on Prostratin, the most advanced of any potentially new drugs aimed at curing AIDS. For more information, visit www.aidsresearch.org.
About GeoVax Labs, Inc.
GeoVax is a biotechnology company developing human vaccines for diseases caused by HIV. Our goals include developing HIV/AIDS vaccines for global markets, overseeing the manufacture and testing of these vaccines under GMP/GLP conditions (FDA guidelines), conducting clinical trials for vaccine safety and effectiveness, and obtaining regulatory approvals to move the product forward. GeoVax's vaccines are unique in expressing virus like particles that display the trimeric membrane bound form of the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein. All preventative Phase 1 human clinical trials conducted to date tested various combinations and doses of our DNA and MVA vaccines, their ability to raise anti-HIV humoral (antibody) and cellular (cytotoxic T cell) immune responses, as well as, the vaccines' safety. Successful results from Phase 1 testing supported the initiation of the first Phase 2 testing. GeoVax's Phase 2 human trial began in January 2009 and will ultimately involve 300 participants at sites in the United States and South America. Recently GeoVax began enrolling patients in a Phase 1 therapeutic trial for individuals already infected with HIV. For more information, please visit www.geovax.com.