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GeoVax Labs, Inc. Comments on Discontinuance of Merck's HIV Vaccine Trial
Date:9/24/2007

tected 22/23 non-human primates for over 3 1/2 years and 5/6 non-vaccinated controls died of AIDS post-AIDS virus infection.

3) GeoVax AIDS vaccines are designed to elicit protective antibodies (Ab) as well as protective T cells (white blood cells) against the AIDS virus. The Merck vaccine stimulates only T cells for providing protection and does not include the Env protein of HIV which is the target for protective antibody (Ab).

4) Protective Ab has been difficult to elicit with HIV/AIDS vaccines. GeoVax has approached this challenge by vaccinating with the natural form of Env (HIV envelope antigens) under conditions that elicit tightly binding Ab. GeoVax studies in non-human primates clearly show this Ab correlates with protection.

5) GeoVax vaccines use an attenuated smallpox vaccine to provide pulses of HIV proteins (antigen) to stimulate protective anti-AIDS vaccine responses. Pulses of antigen from the GeoVax vaccines elicit T cell responses that rapidly mobilize and then contract into a state called "central memory" from which they rapidly expand to fight the appearance of HIV.

Merck's vaccines use adenovirus instead of poxvirus vectors. Adenovirus vectors provide more prolonged AIDS virus antigen exposure than the GeoVax poxvirus vectors. Prolonged antigen exposure affects the state of elicited T cells and can compromise the ability to rapidly expand in the fight against an infection.

"The Merck study highlights the importance of clinical trials in vaccine development," said Dr. Harriet Robinson, Chief Scientific Advisor for GeoVax. "The volunteers who participate in these trials are Heroes of Vaccine Development and make it possible for products that are safe and effective to be identified and licensed for human use. GeoVax salutes the volunteers who participated in the Merck trials and the volunteers that are participating in the GeoVax trials. These are people who care and have volunteered for the greater good of humanity."'/>"/>

SOURCE GeoVax Labs, Inc.
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