GeoVax, a Georgia-based biotechnology company, is enrolling subjects in a Phase I trial for an experimental HIV vaccine developed at Emory University. The study will be conducted at four research centers -- St. Louis University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Maryland and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
The product is one of more than 30 preventive AIDS vaccines in early stages of human clinical trials in approximately two dozen countries, according to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, a nonprofit organization devoted to AIDS prevention. A Merck-developed vaccine that is using a modified cold virus to build immunity, is currently in a Phase II trial with 3,000 subjects.
The GeoVax vaccine will be administered in four doses, spread over the course of apporximately two months. The first two doses contain fragments of HIV DNA, which prime the patient's immune response system. The second two doses contain an altered poxvirus designed to boost the immune system.