GeoVax experimental vaccine advances in clinical trials

March 15, 2022
GeoVax experimental vaccine advances in clinical trials

A vaccine is currently in development that packs a double punch against the coronavirus. GeoVax Labs Inc.’s (GeoVax) experimental vaccine, GEO-CM04S1, which induces immune responses specific to the spike protein on the surface of the virus and the “nucleocapsid,” or body, of the virus, is set to move into mid-stage clinical trials to be carried out in the US.

In an earlier pilot study involving 56 volunteers who received a modified version of a harmless virus, 94% were seen to have developed antibodies against the spike and the nucleocapsid protein after being given the vaccine. Researchers in charge of the study, from City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California, said other components of the immune system also responded well to the vaccine – this included T cells, which protect against severe infection.

Two mid-stage trials of the GeoVax vaccine are underway: one is testing its safety and effectiveness in immunosuppressed patients with blood cancer, while the other is being tested as a booster in healthy adults who previously received vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, or Johnson & Johnson.

The studies will critically look at the level of antibodies that can neutralise the Omicron variant. The researchers will also monitor administration of antibody treatments that work against Omicron for fear of virus mutation and/or resistance.

[Several cases have emerged where COVID-19 patients infected with the Delta variant of the coronavirus developed mutations soon after treatment with an intravenous dose of sotrovimab from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Vir Biotechnology, as reported in The New England Journal of Medicine. The virus mutations would inevitably reduce the drug’s effectiveness.]

Category: Features, Pharmaceuticals

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