GeoVax Secures Multi-Product License for ProBioGen's AGE1.CR.pIX® Suspension Cell Line to Bolster MVA-Based Vaccine Development
Berlin, Germany and Atlanta, Georgia - September 26, 2023
ProBioGen and GeoVax Labs, Inc. (Nasdaq: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing vaccines and immunotherapies against infectious diseases and cancers, announce the signing of a landmark commercial license agreement for ProBioGen's groundbreaking AGE1.CR.pIX® suspension cell line. The agreement will empower GeoVax to enhance the manufacturing capabilities of its entire Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) based vaccine portfolio.
ProBioGen's AGE1.CR.pIX suspension cell line is an innovative and proven platform that enables high-yield and scalable production, ensuring efficient industrial manufacturing processes. This translates to cost-effectiveness and increased productivity for vaccine developers. The AGE1.CR.pIX cell line's versatility allows it to support a wide range of viruses and vaccine types, enhancing its suitability for various vaccines in development and as a replacement for traditional production systems. Additionally, AGE1.CR.pIX's robust growth and genetic stability ensure consistent and reliable production, leading to the delivery of safe and effective vaccines. MVA grows particularly well on this cell line, making it even more advantageous for vaccine development. By leveraging this modern production technology, GeoVax aims to accelerate the manufacturing of its entire vaccine pipeline. This multi-product license represents a strong commitment to improving global access to life-saving vaccines.
"We are thrilled to enter into this licensing agreement with ProBioGen", said David Dodd, Chairman & CEO of GeoVax. "The AGE1.CR.pIX suspension Cell Line is a game-changer for our vaccine production, allowing us to streamline our manufacturing processes while maintaining the highest quality standards. Development of a high-yield, high-capacity process to produce MVA-based vaccines and immunotherapies is nothing short of transformational, and by advancing our MVA manufacturing to a modern, interchangeable process, we are on course to expand MVA applications from stockpile-based solutions for niche medical markets to respond to world needs on a timely basis, whenever and wherever they arise. This partnership with ProBioGen aligns perfectly with GeoVax's mission of developing safe and effective vaccines to protect public health."
"ProBioGen is equally excited about the collaboration, recognizing the potential impact of their technology on global health. GeoVax, as one of the key MVA companies, will strengthen its innovative vaccines with the benefit of a straightforward manufacturing solution", said Dr. Volker Sandig, CSO of ProBioGen. "We believe this partnership will significantly contribute to GeoVax's ability to accelerate vaccine production and distribution, ultimately benefiting communities worldwide."
Financial terms of the commercial license to use the AGE1.CR.pIX, including potential clinical milestones and future royalties were not disclosed.
GeoVax Labs, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel therapies and vaccines for solid tumor cancers and many of the world’s most threatening infectious diseases. The company’s lead program in oncology is a novel oncolytic solid tumor gene-directed therapy, Gedeptin®, presently in a multicenter Phase 1/2 clinical trial for advanced head and neck cancers. GeoVax’s lead infectious disease candidate is GEO-CM04S1, a next-generation COVID-19 vaccine targeting high-risk immunocompromised patient populations. Currently in three Phase 2 clinical trials, GEO-CM04S1 is being evaluated as a primary vaccine for immunocompromised patients such as those suffering from hematologic cancers and other patient populations for whom the current authorized COVID-19 vaccines are insufficient, and as a booster vaccine in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). In addition, GEO-CM04S1 is in a Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating the vaccine as a more robust, durable COVID-19 booster among healthy patients who previously received the mRNA vaccines. GeoVax has a leadership team who have driven significant value creation across multiple life science companies over the past several decades.
ProBioGen is a premiere, Berlin-based specialist for developing and manufacturing biopharmaceutical active ingredients, viral vectors and vaccines with applying proprietary technologies to improve product quality and features. Combining both state-of-the-art development services, together with intelligent product-specific technologies yields biologics with optimized properties. Rapid and integrated cell line and process development, comprehensive analytical development and GMP-compliant manufacturing is performed by a highly skilled and experienced team. All services and technologies are embedded in a total quality management system to assure compliance with international ISO and GMP standards (EMA/FDA).
ProBioGen has been operational for almost 30 years. At three locations in Berlin, over 300 employees contribute to the creation of new therapies in medicine and groundbreaking innovations worldwide through their creative and meticulous work. ProBioGen's growth strategy is driven by the expansion of the service value chain through organic growth and potential acquisition. Diversification is a complement driver, while the focus is strict on enabling the development of biopharmaceuticals for tomorrow.
ProBioGen’s AGE1.CR.pIX cell line is derived from primary cells of a duck embryo and was designed to comply with health authority guidelines and the concept of "defined risk". It was developed as an alternative to the use of chicken eggs for large-scale vaccine production. The AGE1.CR.pIX cell line grows in true suspension and has been optimized for viral vaccine production and stability. It grows in a commercially available, chemically defined medium without animal components and is an excellent host for a variety of different virus strains.
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This release contains forward-looking statements regarding GeoVax’s business plans. The words “believe,” “look forward to,” “may,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “should,” “plan,” “could,” “target,” “potential,” “is likely,” “will,” “expect” and similar expressions, as they relate to us, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. Actual results may differ materially from those included in these statements due to a variety of factors, including whether: GeoVax is able to obtain acceptable results from ongoing or future clinical trials of its investigational products, GeoVax’s immuno-oncology products and preventative vaccines can provoke the desired responses, and those products or vaccines can be used effectively, GeoVax’s viral vector technology adequately amplifies immune responses to cancer antigens, GeoVax can develop and manufacture its immuno-oncology products and preventative vaccines with the desired characteristics in a timely manner, GeoVax’s immuno-oncology products and preventative vaccines will be safe for human use, GeoVax’s vaccines will effectively prevent targeted infections in humans, GeoVax’s immuno-oncology products and preventative vaccines will receive regulatory approvals necessary to be licensed and marketed, GeoVax raises required capital to complete development, there is development of competitive products that may be more effective or easier to use than GeoVax’s products, GeoVax will be able to enter into favorable manufacturing and distribution agreements, and other factors, over which GeoVax has no control.
Further information on our risk factors is contained in our periodic reports on Form 10-Q and Form 10-K that we have filed and will file with the SEC. Any forward-looking statement made by us herein speaks only as of the date on which it is made. Factors or events that could cause our actual results to differ may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all of them. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required by law.
Dr. Gabriele Schneider
Chief Business Officer
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