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July 9, 2008

HIV Vaccine May Begin Human Testing

An Atlanta-based company specializing in prevention and treatment hopes to begin a human trial of its HIV vaccine this fall, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (ajc.com 7/9).

GeoVax Labs Inc., in conjunction with Emory University, is waiting for approval from the Food and Drug Administration of its preventive vaccine in previous studies, company CEO Robert McNally said.

In a study involving two monkeys “given a simian version of our human vaccine,” conventional therapy stopped after six weeks, and the vaccine “kept the viral load in check,” McNally said.

The human trials will “further evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the GeoVax preventative vaccine,” he said.

Mitchell Warren, executive director of the nonprofit AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition in New York, said the GeoVax monkey study was good news but only “one tiny step along the way.”

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