GeoVax Labs (OTCMKTS:GOVX) has successfully concluded a preclinical trial for its vaccine candidate GEO-ZM02 seeking protection against the Zika virus.
The test involved two groups of mice that received a lethal dose of the virus – the ones that received the vaccine survived and showed complete protection to Zika, according to a statement from GeoVax.
“After 21 days when we sacrifice these animals and take the brain out, there is no trace of any virus in the brain in vaccinated animal,” chief scientific officer of GeoVax Dr. Farshad Guirakhoo told INN.
Work on GEO-ZM02 began close to nine months ago according to the Dr. Guirakhoo, his recent appointment as chief scientific officer was followed by the creation of a scientific advisory board for the company. Following the success of this test, GeoVax’s wants to move forward with a new clinical trial on monkeys.
The CDC provided GeoVax with lab space and their mouse model designed for Zika-related studies, according to the agency’s press officer Kate Fowlie.
More research into Zika
Research into cures or protection against Zika has led to positive results recently. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced an early-stage trial with humans last year. No safety update has been provided for the VRC 319 trial.
In an email response to INN Elizabeth Deatrick, scientific communications editor with NIH said: “VRC 319 is ongoing and NIAID expects to provide an update on initial safety and immunogenicity data in the coming weeks.”
NIAID is currently developing multiple varied vaccine candidates against Zika.
Last year the CDC confirmed cases of Zika in Florida and Texas, the move of the virus into American territory sparked a new wave of research into the virus.
The company recently released its 2016 financial report, getting a net loss of $3.3 million. Over a one-year period, their share price has gone down 16.67 percent. Grant Zeng, an analyst with Zacks said in a note that there is an upside “potential” to the company shares. The company currently trades at $0.06.
GeoVax has other vaccine hopefuls against various diseases like HIV both as a preventive and a therapeutic vaccine; Malaria, and hemorrhagic fever viruses.
The success of this test isn’t something new in the industry, but the uniqueness of the vaccine put GeoVax in an interesting position as the company tries to expand their business and potentially see some growth in the future.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.