Georgia Patent of the Month – September 2021

With more than 30 years passed since the discovery of HIV-1, an approved vaccine has yet to be developed for AIDS. In place, antiretroviral drugs are used for prophylactic and therapeutic responses. It is thought that the current tested vaccines failed to help as they may lead to enhanced CD4+ T cell responses – which are prime targets for infection. This would mean that as the vaccine tries to boost the immune system to protect the DNA simultaneously increases the risk of infection. GeoVax, Inc. has been developing a multivalent HIV vaccine which induces a great antibody response without enhancing CD4+ T cell responses.

The vaccine uses peptide and vector compositions to boost a primed immune response to HIV. It also has methods to induce an immune response to treat or prevent HIV. The peptide composition has HIV proteins expressed by either a vector or mutated subunits from different HIV envelope proteins. Keep in mind, a vector is an organism that does not cause disease itself but which spreads infection by conveying pathogens from one host to another (eg. a mosquito may be a vector for malaria). The composition of the vaccine can boost antibody immune responses to the HIV envelope but does not increase CD4+ T cell responses. The boost composition can include proteins such as gp120 proteins B.63521Δ11mutC and full-length single chain (FLSC), which has been modified to stabilize a CD4-induced Env structure. This is GeoVax’s most clinically advanced program, with successful completion of Phase 1 and 2a human clinical trials. Development of this vaccine is definitely something to keep your eye on.

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