SOURCE: GeoVax, Inc.

GeoVax, Inc.

March 30, 2016 09:00 ET

GeoVax Extends Research Collaborations on Zika Vaccine

GeoVax Now Collaborating With CDC and University of Georgia

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - Mar 30, 2016) - GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTCQB: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing human vaccines, announced today that it has entered into a Research Collaboration Agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to evaluate the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of its Zika virus vaccine.

On February 3, 2016, GeoVax announced that it had begun a program to develop a vaccine for the prevention of Zika virus infections using its novel MVA-VLP vaccine platform, and that it had entered into a collaborative relationship with researchers at the University of Georgia to speed development of the vaccine. The Research Collaboration Agreement between GeoVax and the CDC should further broaden and accelerate the company's Zika vaccine development through access to Zika virus antibodies available at the CDC and testing of vaccine candidates by the CDC in appropriate animal models.

Robert McNally, PhD, GeoVax's President and CEO, commented, "We are pleased to have the support of multiple collaborators in our efforts to rapidly develop an efficacious vaccine to prevent Zika virus infection. Together with our own scientific staff, we have assembled a world-class team, with expertise in flavivirus vaccine development, in our attempt to develop a vaccine solution to this growing threat to world health."

About Zika Virus

On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated the Zika virus and its suspected complications in newborns an international public health emergency. Between January 2007 and March 23, 2016, a total of 61 countries and territories worldwide (34 in Americas) reported local transmission of the virus. Five countries (Argentina, France, Italy, New Zealand and the USA) have reported locally acquired infections in the absence of any known mosquito vectors, most likely through sexual transmission. WHO projects that the disease could reach most of the Western Hemisphere, infecting up to 4 million people by year's end. The CDC has issued a travel advisory for people traveling to regions within the Zika virus outbreak, which include popular vacation destinations. Brazil, the site of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, is included in this advisory.

Zika virus, transmitted to people primarily through the bite of Aedes species mosquito (A. aegypti and A. albopictus), is a member of the Flaviviridae family, which includes medically important human pathogens such as dengue fever, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, tick-borne encephalitis, and West Nile viruses. There is a suspected association between Zika infections and severe birth defects, particularly microcephaly, a congenital condition marked by an abnormally small head and incomplete brain development as well as Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), a rare autoimmune disorder that can cause paralysis. The number of microcephaly in Brazil associated with Zika virus has risen to 6,480, of which 863 cases were confirmed and 5,617 cases remain suspected to be associated with Zika virus. Five other countries/territories (French Polynesia, El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia and Suriname) have reported an increase in the incidence of cases of microcephaly and/or GBS following a Zika outbreak. Evidence that microcephaly and GBS are linked to Zika infection remains circumstantial, but a growing body of epidemiological and clinical data indicates that Zika virus is highly likely to be a cause of microcephaly, GBS and other neurological disorders, according to a report published by the WHO on March 24, 2016. Other than mosquito control, no approved preventive or therapeutic products are currently available to fight Zika infections. Public health officials recommend avoiding exposure to Zika, delaying pregnancy, and following basic supportive care after infection. A vaccine is urgently needed to prevent a Zika pandemic.

About GeoVax

GeoVax Labs, Inc., is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing human vaccines against infectious diseases using its Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara -Virus-Like Particle (MVA-VLP) vaccine platform. The Company's most advanced development programs are focused on vaccines against HIV and hemorrhagic fever viruses (Ebola, Marburg, Lassa). GeoVax also recently began programs to develop a vaccine against the Zika virus, and to evaluate the use of its MVA-VLP platform in cancer immunotherapy. 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, stimulating both the humoral and cellular arms of the immune system to recognize, prevent, and control the target infection.

Clinical trials for GeoVax's preventive HIV vaccines have been conducted by the NIH-supported HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) with funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID). Overall, GeoVax's HIV vaccines, in various doses and combinations, have been tested in 500 humans with very encouraging results. Currently GeoVax has the most advanced vaccine for the subtype of HIV prevalent in North America and Western Europe. The company awaits funding for a Phase 2b efficacy trial to prove the vaccine protects against HIV. For more information, visit www.geovax.com.

[The information contained in this press release does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the U.S. Government and no official endorsement should be inferred.]

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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