ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - October 20, 2015) - GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTCQB: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing human vaccines using its novel platform technology, announced today the appointment of Farshad Guirakhoo, Ph.D., as Senior Vice President, Research and Development. Dr. Guirakhoo is a world-renowned virologist and brings more than 20 years of industry experience in the development of vaccines and monoclonal antibody products to GeoVax. Dr. Guirakhoo is a former Executive/Senior Director of Sanofi Pasteur.
As Senior Vice President, Research and Development, Dr. Guirakhoo will play a leading role in the expansion of GeoVax's product development pipeline, and will be integral to collaborating on the development and implementation of a growth strategy to build upon GeoVax's novel platform technology and expertise. He will also contribute to the Company's ongoing efforts to develop and commercialize its HIV and Ebola vaccines.
"We are thrilled that Dr. Guirakhoo will be joining us," said Harriet Robinson, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at GeoVax. "There is substantial work to be done to successfully move our current vaccine programs forward and to build upon our technology platform; we are fortunate to have a professional of Dr. Guirakhoo's caliber adding his talents to the effort. It is a major milestone for the Company to have Dr. Guirakhoo joining our scientific team in a leadership role."
Robert McNally, Ph.D., GeoVax's President and CEO, added, "Dr. Guirakhoo will be a key member of our senior management team. His extensive experience in vaccine development will be important to us as we embark on our strategy to accelerate our HIV vaccine candidate to pivotal clinical trials, and as we make further progress toward clinical trials for our Ebola/Marburg vaccines. And as we look to GeoVax's future, nothing is more critical than continuously building our capabilities and collective expertise with experienced scientific minds. Dr. Guirakhoo's experience and intellectual curiosity will serve us well, and I expect he will move quickly in the identification of high-value areas into which we may expand our product development portfolio. We welcome Dr. Guirakhoo and look forward to his contributions."
"I am truly excited to join GeoVax's team, not only to further accelerate its advanced clinical programs for an HIV vaccine, which is the only cost effective way to eradicate this devastating disease, especially in developing countries, but also utilize its novel platform to develop other vaccines with high medical impact," said Farshad Guirakhoo, Ph.D.
Dr. Guirakhoo has served in senior management and scientific roles within the biotechnology industry with Vaxess Technologies, Hookipa Biotech, Sanofi Pasteur, Acambis, Inc. and OraVax, Inc. He earned his Ph.D. in Virology at the Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, holds a M.Sc. degree in Genetics from the International Institute for Biophysics and Biochemistry of Tehran University, and a B.Sc. degree in Biology from the National University of Iran. He conducted his Post-Doctoral training at the Medical University of Vienna and at the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases. In his scientific career, Dr. Guirakhoo has filed over 90 patent applications and is author/co-author of more than 80 publications, including book chapters, in peer-reviewed journals. In 2014, he was named as one of the 50 Most Influential People in Vaccines.
GeoVax Labs, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing human vaccines against infectious diseases using its novel vaccine platform. Current development programs are focused on vaccines against Ebola, Marburg, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). GeoVax believes its technology and vaccine development expertise is well-suited for a wide variety of human infectious diseases for which there is an unmet medical need, and intends to pursue expansion of its product pipeline.
GeoVax's vaccine platform supports production of non-infectious virus-like particles (VLPs) from the cells of the person receiving the vaccine. The production of VLPs in the person being vaccinated mimics a natural infection, stimulating both the humoral and cellular arms of the immune system to recognize, prevent, and control the target infection -- should it appear.
Clinical trials for GeoVax's preventive HIV vaccines have been conducted by the NIH-supported HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) with funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID). Overall, GeoVax's HIV vaccines, in various doses and combinations, have been tested in about 500 humans. For more information, go to www.geovax.com.
Certain statements in this document are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. These statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may differ materially from those included in these statements due to a variety of factors, including whether: GeoVax can develop and manufacture its vaccines with the desired characteristics in a timely manner, GeoVax's vaccines will be safe for human use, GeoVax's vaccines will effectively prevent HIV or Ebola infection in humans, vaccines will receive regulatory approvals necessary to be licensed and marketed, GeoVax raises required capital to complete vaccine 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. GeoVax assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, and does not intend to do so. More information about these factors is contained in GeoVax's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including those set forth at "Risk Factors" in GeoVax's Form 10-K.
Robert T. McNally, Ph.D.
GeoVax Labs, Inc.