GeoVax and Leidos Expand Collaboration to Malaria Vaccines
Monday, March 04, 2019 10:24 AM

ATLANTA, GA, March 4, 2019 – GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTCQB: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing human vaccines, announced today that it has expanded its collaboration activities with Leidos, Inc. to develop malaria vaccine candidates. The work will be supported under a contract to Leidos from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Malaria Vaccine Development Program (MVDP). Leidos has been tasked by USAID to advance promising vaccine candidates against P. falciparum malaria and selected the GeoVax MVA-VLP platform as part of this development effort.

GeoVax’s vaccine technology is based on its live Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) platform, which generates vaccine antigens, in the form of multimeric proteins or noninfectious VLPs, in the individual being vaccinated. Gene sequences of target antigens are inserted into the MVA genome which drives their expression and budding from the infected cells. In this way, vaccination strategy mimics a natural viral infection which induces two pools of proteins – virus-infected cells and released multimeric or VLP proteins.

Georgia Research Alliance 'at a pivot point,' refocusing for the future
Friday, February 15, 2019 12:00 AM

By Maria Saporta  – Contributing Writer, Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Leaders behind the Georgia Research Alliance are seeking to gain traction under the administration of newly-elected Gov. Brian Kemp

The Alliance, launched during the administration of the late Gov. Zell Miller, is a well-respected organization of top business, university and government leaders dedicated to increasing the state’s technology portfolio.

At its quarterly board meeting Feb. 7, a combination of old and new faces were present. David Ratcliffe, retired CEO of Southern Co., was named board chairman – a role he had held in 2005. It also was Russell Allen’s first board meeting as president and CEO of the organization. 

“We are on the verge of taking this to the next level,” Ratcliffe said. “I think we are at a pivot point with a new administration and a new focus." 

Already Ratcliffe, Allen and Mark Sanders, who is GRA’s lobbyist and a longtime friend of the new governor, have met with Kemp, who has promised to attend future meetings. Ratcliffe said Kemp understands the success the Alliance has had over the years and appears open to exploring new opportunities to work with the organization.

An inside look at the policy issues Georgia Bio is tackling in 2019
Wednesday, February 13, 2019 04:43 PM

As Georgia welcomes its new Governor and a wave of newly elected legislators, we asked Kallarin Mackey, Emory University Director of State Affairs, Government and Community Affairs and Joseph (Joe) Zorzoli, Head of U.S. Government Relations for UCB to weigh in on the state of play in life sciences policy in Georgia.

How does Georgia Bio plan to work with the incoming Governor and newly elected legislators to ensure they are aware of the important issues of the life sciences industry? 

KALLARIN: It will be important to begin by educating the newly elected officials on who Georgia Bio is as an organization, the issues that are important to the membership and the impact that the life sciences industry has on our state. Georgia’s bioscience firms have grown their employment base by 10.6 percent since 2014 and employed just over 32,000 in 2016. To the point above, one of the best ways to illustrate this is by bringing legislators on site to see the work that Georgia Bio members are doing across the state. It’s important to make it personal. Seeing in person the research and innovation that Georgia Bio members engage in every day is a great way to help a lawmaker understand the impact that these companies have in their own district and across the state.

Regarding workforce development, Georgia’s life science industry is consistently seeing a shortage of employees with necessary skills to fill jobs. One example is biomanufacturing. Our research universities, through federal, private and state funding, have advanced their bio manufacturing centers and programs helping to position Georgia as a leader in the future of biotechnology in medicine, agriculture and industrial applications. However, many of our high school students don’t have the opportunity to learn and advance into these degree programs. 

Statement re ECO Animal Health and University of Georgia sign second poultry vaccine development licencing deal
Monday, February 11, 2019 11:17 AM

ECO Animal Health Group plc


ECO Animal Health and University of Georgia sign second poultry vaccine development licencing deal

ECO Animal Health Ltd (ECO), a wholly owned subsidiary of ECO Animal Health Group plc, is pleased to announce that it has entered a second worldwide exclusive licensing deal with the Poultry Diagnostic & Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia (UGA).

This deal, which follows on from the one leading to the development of potential vaccines in the field of Mycoplasma gallisepticum, allows ECO to further develop, register and commercialize a live attenuated Mycoplasma synoviae vaccine for poultry developed by UGA. University researchers have concluded preliminary proof of concept efficacy and safety studies with this vaccine.

Peter Lawrence, Non-Executive Chairman of ECO Animal Health Group plc said, “Mycoplasma synoviae is a bacterium thataffects predominately commercial layers and breeding birds worldwide resulting in a 5 to 10 per cent loss in egg production and lower egg quality in affected flocks “.

Animal Health company pledges $120M Georgia investment, 225 new jobs
Monday, February 11, 2019 11:11 AM

Duluth-based Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc. is bolstering its investment in Georgia with a commitment to invest $120 million in Gwinnett, Clarke, and Hall counties, according Gov. Brian Kemp's office.

Boehringer Ingelheim said Friday the animal health company will create 225 jobs in the counties, including 75 at its North American headquarters in Duluth. More than 100 new jobs will go to its manufacturing and R&D facility in Athens, and 50-plus more at the company’s Gainesville manufacturing facility, according to a news release from the governor's office.

Boehringer Ingelheim announced in November of 2016 it would move its North American animal health headquarters from Kansas City to Duluth.

“We’re excited to welcome Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc. to the Peach State,” said Gov. Kemp, according to Friday's news release. His office later amended the quote to read, “We’re excited to announce further investment from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc. in our state.”

“As a family-owned business, they will join a first-class corporate family here in Georgia," Kemp added. "I look forward to working with them to strengthen our university system and existing industries in agribusiness, health technology, and science.”

Boehringer Ingelheim's animal-health business focuses on preventive healthcare by developing vaccines, parasiticides and pharmaceuticals. The company's products for dogs and cats as well as cattle, swine, poultry and horses include the brands Frontline, Heartgard, Nexgard, Gastrogard and Ingelvac. 

The company employs more than 3,000 people in the United States. Earlier this week, Everett Hoekstra was named the new president of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc., succeeding Paul Fonteyne, who retired after 15 years with the company. 

“For nearly 40 years, the company and its predecessors have helped make the state of Georgia a key player in animal health — from its beginning producing rabies vaccines in Athens, to multiple facilities today, that are playing an instrumental role in advancing animal health and well-being,” Hoekstra said in the news release. “Our investments will expand our capabilities and presence in Georgia, and drive future growth and innovation to help prevent disease in livestock and pets.”

Boehringer Ingelheim, headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, is the second largest animal health business in the world with net sales in 2017 of $4.4 billion and around 10,000 employees worldwide. 

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