SOURCE: GeoVax, Inc.

GeoVax, Inc.

June 21, 2016 14:30 ET

GeoVax Discusses Zika Vaccine Development at American Society for Virology's 35th Annual Meeting

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - Jun 21, 2016) - GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTCQB: GOVX), a biotechnology company specializing in the development of human vaccines, announced today that its Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Harriet Robinson, gave an oral presentation at the American Society for Virology's 35th Annual Meeting, held at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia on June 18-22, 2016.

Dr. Robinson's presentation, entitled "Development of a Zika Vaccine", was delivered today during the late-breaking Zika workshop at the conference, and is summarized below.

To rapidly develop a Zika vaccine, GeoVax is leveraging its Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara (MVA) Virus-Like Particle (VLP) technology for the construction of a Zika vaccine. GeoVax MVA-VLP vaccines express viral antigens that assemble into VLPs within the vaccinated person using the highly potent, yet safe (replication deficient for mammalian cells) MVA vector. The MVA-VLP vaccines elicit both antibodies and T cells and hold promise as both single dose, and as prime-boost vaccines. Zika is a member of the flavivirus family that also includes yellow fever virus, dengue virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, West Nile virus, and others.

As many consider MVA to be a vector that is primarily valuable for boosting vaccine responses, Dr. Robinson introduced her talk with a brief update on the ability of an MVA-VLP vaccine to elicit protective immunity after a single inoculation. These data featured the GeoVax MVA-VLP Ebola vaccine which has recently shown complete protection against Ebola virus after single as well as two dose vaccinations in rhesus macaques. Dr. Robinson then went on to report that GeoVax is developing two MVA-VLP vaccine candidates for Zika virus using sequences from the Asian strain that recently spread to the Americas. This strain is associated with microcephaly in newborns and Guillian-Barre syndrome in adults.

The Company's first vaccine is designed to express Zika pre-Membrane and Envelope (prME) proteins to produce Zika VLPs intended to elicit neutralizing antibodies that can block the Zika virus at its entry point into the host. In natural infections, flaviviruses produce non-infectious prME VLPs as well as infectious virus. The second vaccine expresses Zika VLPs plus an additional Zika non-structural protein that is shown with other flaviviruses to induce protective antibodies as well as cellular responses against flavivirus infections in humans. Zika virus forms by budding inside cells through the membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum and is then secreted from cells. Dr. Robinson showed the prME constructs expressing intracellular VLPs in multi-lamellar structures as well as provided evidence that VLPs were not only present in the cells in which they were formed, but also were secreted into the cell culture supernatant. Dr. Robinson ended the presentation with plans for animal testing and acknowledgement of the important role of collaborators at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the University of Georgia, and Emory University in the GeoVax vaccine development program.

"We are very pleased with the rapid progress of our Zika vaccine effort," said Dr. Robert McNally, GeoVax's President and CEO. "Our outside collaborators have provided valuable scientific insight and have helped speed us toward the testing of our vaccine for immunogenicity and efficacy in multiple animal models."

About GeoVax

GeoVax Labs, Inc., is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing human vaccines against infectious diseases using its MVA-VLP vaccine platform. The Company's development programs are focused on vaccines against Zika Virus, HIV, and hemorrhagic fever viruses (Ebola, Sudan, Marburg, Lassa). GeoVax also recently began programs to evaluate the use of its MVA-VLP platform in cancer immunotherapy and for therapeutic use in chronic Hepatitis B infections. GeoVax's vaccine platform supports in vivo production of non-infectious VLPs from the cells of the very person receiving the vaccine. The production of VLPs in the person being vaccinated mimics a natural infection. This stimulates the humoral and cellular arms of the immune system to recognize, prevent, and control the target infection. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statements

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, and does not intend to do so. More information about these factors is contained in GeoVax's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including those set forth at "Risk Factors" in GeoVax's Form 10-K.

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