ATLANTA, March 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Harriet L. Robinson, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTCQB/OTCBB: GOVX), a biotech company specializing in the development of HIV/AIDS vaccines, announced the results of a study suggesting that scientists may be one step closer to a vaccine that protects against multiple exposures to HIV infections. The study results were unveiled by Dr. Robinson during a presentation in Seattle at the 2012 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI).
Dr. Robinson, working alongside Rama Rao Amara, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, and member of the Emory Vaccine Center, tested a novel vaccine against HIV/AIDS for the ability to protect non-human primates against a series of 36 exposures to simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) given in three clusters of 12 each over more than 2.5 years. The serial exposures were initiated using the SIVE660 virus that is genetically distinct from the vaccine, followed by exposure to SIV251, the most potent strain of SIV used in non-human primate studies.
The high protective activity of the vaccine is achieved by co-expressing granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in the DNA vaccine used to prime the vaccine response. GM-CSF is a normal human protein that promotes the initiation of immune responses. By co-expressing GM-CSF and HIV proteins in the DNA vaccine, GM-CSF is present at the site of vaccination where it enhances the ability of the vaccine to elicit blocking antibodies for the virus. Blocking antibodies can stop a virus before it infects cells.
The vaccination regimen consisted of two DNA inoculations at months 0 and 2 to prime the vaccine response and then two booster inoculations at months 4 and 6. The booster vaccine was MVA, a recombinant poxvirus expressing HIV proteins. Six months after the last vaccination, both vaccinated and unvaccinated animals wer
|SOURCE GeoVax Labs, Inc.|
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