GeoVax receives HIV vaccine grant

GeoVax Labs, Inc., an Atlanta-based biopharmaceutical firm developing HIV vaccines, received a $3.6 million annual Integrated Preclinical/Clinical AIDS Vaccine Development grant award on Tuesday.
GeoVax originally received the grant in 2007 from the U.S. National Institutes of Health-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease for its HIV/AIDS vaccine program. The company said that only meritorious HIV/AIDS prevention vaccine candidates are considered to receive an IPCAVD award.
This recent annual award represents the fifth year's award, bringing the total award to $19.6 million to date. GeoVax plans to use this funding to further produce its GM-CSF adjuvanted vaccine for planned human clinical trials.
"This award will allow us to maintain momentum on the successful development of our GM-CSF adjuvanted vaccine," Harriet Robinson, the chief scientific officer of GeoVax and program director for the award, said. "Depending on FDA submission schedules, we anticipate beginning a Phase 1 clinical trial within the next six months. The exciting thing about using the GM-CSF adjuvant is that it significantly increases prevention of infection.  Without the adjuvant, our vaccine has been demonstrated to successfully control infection, but prevention of infection is the ultimate goal. There is widespread enthusiasm and desire for a vaccine that provides the promise for prevention of infection."
GeoVax's goals include developing HIV/AIDS vaccines for global markets, overseeing the testing and manufacture of these vaccines under FDA guidelines, conducting clinical trials for vaccine effectiveness and safety and obtaining regulatory approvals to move the product forward.
"We just had our annual external advisory board meeting for our GM-CSF adjuvant project," Robert McNally, the president and CEO of GeoVax, said. "It was very productive with the outside experts being highly enthusiastic about the GM-CSF adjuvanted vaccine and very complimentary of the progress GeoVax has made."

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