ATLANTA, GA, Sept. 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via NEWMEDIAWIRE - GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTCQB: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing human vaccines, today commented on recent age-associated HIV infection trends observed in the United States. The trends are reported in the research article entitled, “Age-Associated Trends in Diagnosis and Prevalence of Infection with HIV Among Men Who Have Sex with Men – United States, 2008-2016” included in the September 21 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)1.
In the article the authors observe that, in 2016, two thirds (67%) of diagnosed HIV infections in the United States were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact, noting that the risk for sexual acquisition and transmission of HIV changes through an individual’s lifespan. Trends observed during 2008–2016 include the number of HIV diagnoses increasing by 3% annually among men who have sex with men (MSM) aged 13–29 years, with the number of HIV diagnoses in this age group being four times that of MSM aged 50 years or older. The article also notes that racial/ethnic inequities in HIV have persisted.
David Dodd, GeoVax President & CEO, commented, “The findings of this report should serve as a wake-up call for expansion of prevention efforts to curb the continued rising HIV infection rates among the younger age groups in the United States. Particularly troubling are the continued racial and ethnic disparities described in the report, with African-American and Hispanic/Latinos accounting for a disproportionate number of cases.”
“Vaccines are the most cost-effective way to combat infectious diseases,” Mr. Dodd continued, “and GeoVax is committed to developing a vaccine solution to the HIV epidemic. Our most advanced vaccines under development are designed to protect against the clade B subtype of the HIV virus that is prevalent in the Americas, Australia, Japan and Western Europe. Our preventive clade B HIV vaccine has successfully completed Phase 2a human clinical testing and has entered a follow-on clinical trial with support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. This vaccine has repeatedly shown outstanding safety and excellent, highly reproducible immunogenicity. We have also extended our preventive HIV vaccine effort to the most common virus subtype affecting the developing world, clade C, as well as investigating the potential of our HIV vaccines, used in combination therapies, toward a cure for HIV infections. All of us at GeoVax are committed and focused on providing a successful preventive vaccine to address this continued worldwide epidemic. We will not be satisfied until such a solution is available throughout the world.”
GeoVax Labs, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing human vaccines against infectious diseases using its 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 HIV, Zika, hemorrhagic fever viruses (Ebola, Sudan, Marburg, Lassa) 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.
GeoVax’s vaccine technology is based on its Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) Virus-Like Particle (VLP) platform, which generates noninfectious VLPs in the individual being vaccinated. Gene sequences of target antigens are inserted into the MVA genome which drives their expression in infected cells. In addition, GeoVax introduces into the viral genome matrix sequences that incorporate antigens into VLPs and simultaneously facilitate their budding from the membranes of host cells. In this way, vaccination induces two pools of antigens as targets for the immune response – host cells and VLPs secreted from host cells. This strategy mimics a natural viral infection, triggering the body to produce a robust and durable immune response with involvement of both antibodies and T cells.
For more information, visit www.geovax.com.
Certain statements in this document are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. These statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may differ materially from those included in these statements due to a variety of factors, including whether: GeoVax can develop and manufacture its vaccines with the desired characteristics in a timely manner, GeoVax's vaccines will be safe for human use, GeoVax's vaccines will effectively prevent targeted infections in humans, GeoVax’s vaccines will receive regulatory approvals necessary to be licensed and marketed, GeoVax raises required capital to complete vaccine development, there is development of competitive products that may be more effective or easier to use than GeoVax's products, GeoVax will be able to enter into favorable manufacturing and distribution agreements, and other factors over which GeoVax has no control. GeoVax assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements. More information about these factors is contained in GeoVax's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including those under "Risk Factors" in its Form 10-K.
1. Mitsch A, Singh S, Li J, Balaji A, Linley L, Selik R. Age-Associated Trends in Diagnosis and Prevalence of Infection with HIV Among Men Who Have Sex with Men — United States, 2008–2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:1025–1031. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6737a2).
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