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GeoVax secures NIH grant for HIV vaccine program

Thursday, July 2, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Angela King
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GeoVax secures NIH grant for HIV vaccine program

PBR Staff Writer Published 02 July 2015

US-based biotechnology firm GeoVax Labs has received a notice of award from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a small business innovative research (SBIR) grant in support of its clade C HIV vaccine development program for Africa.

The NIH grant of $299,585 is for the first year of a two-year project period beginning this July.

The grant will be used to support the preclinical testing in non-human primates of a vaccine designed for the clade C subtype of HIV prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The company said that this project will be the first to use its vaccine technology for the developing world, and builds on its clade B HIV vaccine, GOVX-B11, which is designed for the epidemic in the Americas and Western Europe.

In clinical trials involving 500 people in North and South America, GOVX-B11 has showed outstanding safety and reproducible immunogenicity and it is expected that the clade C vaccine will show similar response.

GeoVax chief scientific officer Harriet Robinson said: "For the clade C vaccine we have capitalized on our platform technology that allows us to express non-infectious virus-like particles (VLPs) in the cells of the person being vaccinated.

"HIV is a fragile virus, and easily loses its structure. By producing virus-like particles in the person being vaccinated, we not only save the cost of particle purification but also preserve the natural form of HIV to raise immune responses with the best chance of recognizing and preventing actual HIV infections."

The grant was awarded to GeoVax Vector Development director Dr Arban Domi, who will oversee its implementation.

Source. Pharmaceutical Business Reveiw.

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