Georgia Patent of the Month – August 2023

GeoVax Labs, Inc., a leading biotechnology company, is revolutionizing the field of vaccine development with its groundbreaking research in generating immune responses against hemorrhagic fever viruses. One of their recent achievements is the creation of a recombinant modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vector that carries sequences encoding viral antigens, enabling the generation of a protective immune response against filoviruses such as ebolavirus, marburgvirus, and Lassa virus.

The MVA vector developed by GeoVax Labs consists of two critical nucleic acid sequences. The first encodes a full-length ebolavirus transmembrane glycoprotein, while the second encodes an ebolavirus VP40 matrix protein. These nucleic acid sequences are meticulously inserted into the MVA vector under the control of one or more promoters compatible with poxvirus expression systems. Moreover, the recombinant MVA vector has been optimized using various methods, including codon changes and silent mutations, to enhance protein expression and immune response.

GeoVax’s cutting-edge technology goes beyond traditional approaches, as it assembles both glycoprotein and matrix protein sequences into virus-like particles (VLPs) when expressed in a host cell. This innovative strategy amplifies the immune response and strengthens the effectiveness of the vaccine.

An exciting aspect of GeoVax’s work is the ability to tailor the vaccine to target different species of filoviruses. They have developed recombinant MVA vectors with glycoprotein and matrix protein sequences derived from various species, including Zaire ebolavirus, Sudan ebolavirus, Taï Forest ebolavirus, Bundibugyo ebolavirus, and Reston ebolavirus. Their research extends to marburgviruses such as Marburg virus and Ravn virus.

The potential of these MVA-based vaccines extends beyond prophylactic use. The versatility of GeoVax’s vectors allows for therapeutic applications as well, opening new avenues for combating these deadly viruses and saving lives.

The significance of GeoVax’s work lies in addressing a critical global health challenge. While ebolavirus, marburgvirus, and Lassa virus outbreaks have caused significant morbidity and mortality, there is currently no licensed vaccine for humans against these viruses. GeoVax’s innovative vaccine candidates offer hope for preventing and treating diseases caused by these hemorrhagic fever viruses.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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