HARRIET ROBINSON, PHD
Chief Scientific Officer, GeoVax Labs, Inc. /
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory Vaccine Center and Emory School of Medicine
“Federal funding to the Emory Vaccine Center and Yerkes National Primate Research Center made it possible to develop and carry out pre-clinical testing on the complex technologies required for an AIDS vaccine. This critical funding, along with Emory University’s support for this research, led to the creation of the startup company GeoVax, Inc. and the licensing of the vaccine technology. GeoVax continues to grow and prosper, with several promising versions of a preventive AIDS vaccine and a therapeutic vaccine currently in or nearing clinical trials.”
Donald G. Hildebrand
Dr. Harriet Robinson
TSC MEMBER INSTITUTION(S):
National Institutes of Health
GEOVAX LABS, INC.
VACCINES SERVING HUMANITY
ABOUT THE COMPANY:
In 1998 Dr. Harriet Robinson and her research team at the Emory Vaccine Center and Yerkes National Primate Research Center began working on a vaccine that could fight off HIV in uninfected people and potentially reduce the virus in those already infected by 100- to 1,000-fold. Emory and Dr. Robinson’s team formed a company called GeoVax, now a $100 million publicly held company.
The company aspires to develop, manufacture, and clinically test AIDS vaccines and obtain regulatory approval of these vaccines in the United States and in specifiied international markets. GeoVax is in the process of conducting five clinical trials. Successful results from all phase 1 trials of GeoVax’s vaccines supported the initiation of the phase 2 trials of the company’s product candidates. GeoVax’s phase 2 human trials began in January 2009 and involve 225 participants at sites in the United States and South America.
UNIVERSITY-BASED RESEARCH CONNECTION:
GeoVax’s recombinant DNA and MVA AIDS vaccines were initially developed at Emory University by Dr. Harriet Robinson, in collaboration with researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These vaccines comprise the major HIV-1 subtypes (A, B and C), and can be used alone or in combination, depending on a local infection.
ROLE OF FEDERAL RESEARCH FUNDING:
Development of the Emory technologies was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health. GeoVax’s human trials are conducted by HIV Vaccine Trials Network established and funded by the NIH.
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