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GeoVax Presents Gedeptin® Clinical Data at the AACR-AHNS Head and Neck Cancer Conference

Atlanta, GA, July 10, 2023 – GeoVax Labs, Inc. (Nasdaq: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing immunotherapies and vaccines against cancers and infectious diseases, announced today the presentation of Phase 1/2 clinical trial data for GeoVax’s gene therapy candidate, Gedeptin® at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Head and Neck Society (AHNS) joint Head and Neck Cancer Conference in Montréal, QC, Canada. The presentation, titled “Phase 1/ 2 study of Ad/PNP with fludarabine for the treatment of head neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC)”, describes the evaluation of Gedeptin as an experimental therapy for refractory solid tumors.

Gedeptin is a novel patented product/technology for the treatment of solid tumors through a gene therapy strategy known as Gene-Directed Enzyme Prodrug Therapy (GDEPT). In GDEPT, a vector is used to selectively transduce tumor cells with a nonhuman gene, which expresses an enzyme that can convert a nontoxic prodrug into a highly toxic antitumor compound in situ.

The ongoing Phase 1/2 trial ( Identifier: NCT03754933) is evaluating the safety and efficacy of repeat cycles of Gedeptin therapy in patients with recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), with tumor(s) accessible for injection and no curable treatment options. The protocol entails up to five treatment cycles, each consisting of three intra-tumoral injections of Gedeptin over two days followed by infusion of a prodrug, fludarabine phosphate, once daily for three days. A completed Phase 1 dose-ranging study demonstrated that treating a tumor with a single cycle of Gedeptin, followed by fludarabine infusions, was well tolerated, with evidence of a reduction in tumor size in patients with solid tumors.

The poster presentation (viewed AACR Poster), highlighted the following data:

  • 8 patients have been enrolled in the study to date.
  • No dose limiting toxicities or serious adverse events (SAEs) are definitively attributable to treatment. Additionally, no adverse events above grade 3 severity have been reported.
  • Up to 5 cycles of Gedeptin treatment have been administered without limiting sequelae. Intratumoral expression of the PNP transgene by RT-PCR has been established in treated tumors studied to date.
  • Impairment of tumor growth (i.e., "stable disease" using RECIST 1.1 evaluation criteria) in targeted lesions was seen in 5 of 7 patients; tumor response assessment in one patient remains under study.

Kelly T. McKee, M.D., GeoVax’s Chief Medical Officer and presenting author, commented, “This clinical trial is ongoing, but from our interim analysis, we can conclude that administration of Gedeptin is safe and feasible. The strategy is also being considered for earlier-stage HNSCC with less tumor burden, including a role similar to neoadjuvant or cytoreductive radiotherapy in combination with checkpoint blockade inhibition. A multi-center trial is planned to define the maximum tolerable dose and feasibility in smaller tumors.”

The current study is being funded in part by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pursuant to its Orphan Products Clinical Trials Grants Program. The FDA has also granted Gedeptin orphan drug status for the intra-tumoral treatment of anatomically accessible oral and pharyngeal cancers, including cancers of the lip, tongue, gum, floor of the mouth, salivary gland, and other oral cavities. GeoVax anticipates completion of the current trial by year-end 2023, after which expanded development of Gedeptin is anticipated, both as monotherapy and combination therapy in conjunction with other therapies to potentially include immune checkpoint inhibitors, angiogenesis inhibitors, radiation, chemotherapy, etc.)

About GeoVax

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 two Phase 2 clinical trials, GEO-CM04S1 is being evaluated as a COVID-19 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. 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. For more information, visit our website:

Forward-Looking Statements

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. 

Investor Relations Contact:

Rich Cockrell

CG Capital


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Media Contact:

Susan Roberts

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