GeoVax Labs Inc, a biotechnology company that creates, develops and tests HIV/AIDS vaccines, announced today the opening of a second clinical trial site at the Alabama Vaccine Research Clinic (AVRC) of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to expand the company's HIV therapeutic vaccine trial. Although the GeoVax vaccines are currently being tested clinically for HIV prevention, this is the first clinical trial using the same products for treatment of persons who already have HIV infection. UAB joins the AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta (ARCA) as the second site used for this trial.
"We are very pleased to be expanding this important clinical trial to include the AVRC, a group with which we have worked successfully for several years," noted Mark Newman, PhD, Vice President of Research and Development at GeoVax.
Sonya Heath, MD, the medical director for the study at UAB, said, "New approaches to HIV treatment are critically needed, and an effective therapeutic vaccine would be an important tool in our ongoing efforts to treat people with HIV infection. A vaccine that enhances the body's ability to control HIV and decreases the dependence on antiretroviral drugs would be a major breakthrough."
To be eligible for the study, potential volunteers need to be diagnosed within the first year of HIV infection and they must have started antiretroviral drug therapy within six months of diagnosis. The study will last up to 77 weeks for each participant. All patients will be followed closely to assess vaccine safety and for the ability of the vaccine to induce therapeutic immune responses. Only 10 to 12 persons will be selected to participate.
The Alabama Vaccine Research Center, established in 1994, is one of 10 National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored HIV Vaccine Trials Units in the US. The medical staff of the AVRC conducts Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3 clinical trials of experimental HIV vaccines. The goals of these clinical research studies are to evaluate the safety and the ability of new vaccines to induce immune responses capable of protecting individuals from HIV infection and/or controlling disease. The AVRC has contributed to the clinical testing of the GeoVax HIV vaccines in HIV uninfected individuals.
GeoVax Labs Inc