News Posts List

GeoVax and Leidos Expand Collaboration to Malaria Vaccines


ATLANTA, GA, March 4, 2019 – GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTCQB: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing human vaccines, announced today that it has expanded its collaboration activities with Leidos, Inc. to develop malaria vaccine candidates. The work will be supported under a contract to Leidos from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Malaria Vaccine Development Program (MVDP). Leidos has been tasked by USAID to advance promising vaccine candidates against P. falciparum malaria and selected the GeoVax MVA-VLP platform as part of this development effort. GeoVax’s vaccine technology is based on its live Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) platform, which generates vaccine antigens, in the form of multimeric proteins or noninfectious VLPs, in the individual being vaccinated. Gene sequences of target antigens are inserted into the MVA genome which drives their expression and budding from the infected cells. In this way, vaccination strategy mimics a natural viral infection which induces two pools of proteins – virus-infected cells and released multimeric or VLP proteins.

Georgia Research Alliance 'at a pivot point,' refocusing for the future


By Maria Saporta – Contributing Writer, Atlanta Business Chronicle Leaders behind the Georgia Research Alliance are seeking to gain traction under the administration of newly-elected Gov. Brian Kemp. The Alliance, launched during the administration of the late Gov. Zell Miller, is a well-respected organization of top business, university and government leaders dedicated to increasing the state’s technology portfolio. At its quarterly board meeting Feb. 7, a combination of old and new faces were present. David Ratcliffe, retired CEO of Southern Co., was named board chairman – a role he had held in 2005. It also was Russell Allen’s first board meeting as president and CEO of the organization. “We are on the verge of taking this to the next level,” Ratcliffe said. “I think we are at a pivot point with a new administration and a new focus." Already Ratcliffe, Allen and Mark Sanders, who is GRA’s lobbyist and a longtime friend of the new governor, have met with Kemp, who has promised to attend future meetings. Ratcliffe said Kemp understands the success the Alliance has had over the years and appears open to exploring new opportunities to work with the organization.

An inside look at the policy issues Georgia Bio is tackling in 2019


As Georgia welcomes its new Governor and a wave of newly elected legislators, we asked Kallarin Mackey, Emory University Director of State Affairs, Government and Community Affairs and Joseph (Joe) Zorzoli, Head of U.S. Government Relations for UCB to weigh in on the state of play in life sciences policy in Georgia. How does Georgia Bio plan to work with the incoming Governor and newly elected legislators to ensure they are aware of the important issues of the life sciences industry? KALLARIN: It will be important to begin by educating the newly elected officials on who Georgia Bio is as an organization, the issues that are important to the membership and the impact that the life sciences industry has on our state. Georgia’s bioscience firms have grown their employment base by 10.6 percent since 2014 and employed just over 32,000 in 2016. To the point above, one of the best ways to illustrate this is by bringing legislators on site to see the work that Georgia Bio members are doing across the state. It’s important to make it personal. Seeing in person the research and innovation that Georgia Bio members engage in every day is a great way to help a lawmaker understand the impact that these companies have in their own district and across the state. Regarding workforce development, Georgia’s life science industry is consistently seeing a shortage of employees with necessary skills to fill jobs. One example is biomanufacturing. Our research universities, through federal, private and state funding, have advanced their bio manufacturing centers and programs helping to position Georgia as a leader in the future of biotechnology in medicine, agriculture and industrial applications. However, many of our high school students don’t have the opportunity to learn and advance into these degree programs.

Statement re ECO Animal Health and University of Georgia sign second poultry vaccine development licencing deal


ECO Animal Health Group plc (AIM: EAH) ECO Animal Health and University of Georgia sign second poultry vaccine development licencing deal ECO Animal Health Ltd (ECO), a wholly owned subsidiary of ECO Animal Health Group plc, is pleased to announce that it has entered a second worldwide exclusive licensing deal with the Poultry Diagnostic & Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia (UGA). This deal, which follows on from the one leading to the development of potential vaccines in the field of Mycoplasma gallisepticum, allows ECO to further develop, register and commercialize a live attenuated Mycoplasma synoviae vaccine for poultry developed by UGA. University researchers have concluded preliminary proof of concept efficacy and safety studies with this vaccine.

Animal Health company pledges $120M Georgia investment, 225 new jobs


Duluth-based Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc. is bolstering its investment in Georgia with a commitment to invest $120 million in Gwinnett, Clarke, and Hall counties, according Gov. Brian Kemp's office. Boehringer Ingelheim said Friday the animal health company will create 225 jobs in the counties, including 75 at its North American headquarters in Duluth. More than 100 new jobs will go to its manufacturing and R&D facility in Athens, and 50-plus more at the company’s Gainesville manufacturing facility, according to a news release from the governor's office. Boehringer Ingelheim announced in November of 2016 it would move its North American animal health headquarters from Kansas City to Duluth. “We’re excited to welcome Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc. to the Peach State,” said Gov. Kemp, according to Friday's news release. His office later amended the quote to read, “We’re excited to announce further investment from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc. in our state.” “As a family-owned business, they will join a first-class corporate family here in Georgia," Kemp added. "I look forward to working with them to strengthen our university system and existing industries in agribusiness, health technology, and science.” Boehringer Ingelheim's animal-health business focuses on preventive healthcare by developing vaccines, parasiticides and pharmaceuticals. The company's products for dogs and cats as well as cattle, swine, poultry and horses include the brands Frontline, Heartgard, Nexgard, Gastrogard and Ingelvac. The company employs more than 3,000 people in the United States. Earlier this week, Everett Hoekstra was named the new president of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc., succeeding Paul Fonteyne, who retired after 15 years with the company. “For nearly 40 years, the company and its predecessors have helped make the state of Georgia a key player in animal health — from its beginning producing rabies vaccines in Athens, to multiple facilities today, that are playing an instrumental role in advancing animal health and well-being,” Hoekstra said in the news release. “Our investments will expand our capabilities and presence in Georgia, and drive future growth and innovation to help prevent disease in livestock and pets.” Boehringer Ingelheim, headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, is the second largest animal health business in the world with net sales in 2017 of $4.4 billion and around 10,000 employees worldwide.

Georgia Bio Names Maria Thacker-Goethe President and CEO


Atlanta, Georgia (February 8, 2019) – Georgia Bio has named Maria Thacker-Goethe President and CEO of the state’s public policy and business solutions organization representing Georgia’s life sciences industry. “For more than a decade, Maria has established a strong reputation for her industry knowledge and expertise with Georgia businesses, leaders and legislators,” said Georgia Bio Chair Patricia Fritz, Vice President, U.S. Corporate Affairs at UCB Inc. “Maria’s experience, determination and decisiveness give the board confidence that she is the right person at the right time to lead Georgia Bio. Ms. Thacker-Goethe has served in a variety of roles for Georgia Bio over the years including Marketing, Membership and Project Manager. From 2013 to 2018 she served as Vice President of Operations. An innovative thinker with broad-based expertise in operations, community relationship building, and marketing Ms. Thacker-Goethe has been a driving force behind Georgia Bio’s programs and the development of the Georgia BioEd Institute.

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA promotes CFO to president


Everett Hoekstra is the new president of Duluth-based Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc. Hoekstra, who most recently was chief financial officer of the U.S. animal health business, succeeds Paul Fonteyne, who retired after 15 years with Boehringer Ingelheim. Hoekstra takes the helm two years after Boehringer Ingelheim's animal-health business acquired Merial from Sanofi. Together with Timothy Bettington, who leads the company's U.S. commercial operations, he will oversee the company's largest animal health market. Hoekstra has held a variety of leadership roles since joining Boehringer Ingelheim in 1997, mainly in finance at the company's human pharmaceutical business. He also co-led the launch of Boehringer Ingelheim's global diabetes alliance with Eli Lilly and Co., as well as serving as CFO of its animal health company. A native of Iowa, Hoekstra early in his career spent 12 years as co-owner and business manager for a veterinary group in the Midwest. As part of that group, he helped build several successful veterinary agriculture businesses, including a swine biologics business that today is part of Boehringer Ingelheim, a veterinary distribution company, and a bovine reproductive technology services company.

BIO Statement on New Proposal for Lowering Out-of-Pocket Costs for Medicines


Washington, DC (January 31, 2019) – BIO’s President and CEO Jim Greenwood issued the following statement today after the Trump administration released a proposed rule that would alter safe harbor policies under the federal anti-kickback statute: “BIO strongly supports the goal of this proposed rule to lower out-of-pocket costs for consumers. Every year innovative drugmakers provide tens of billions of dollars in rebates to help expand affordable access to prescription medicines. But far too often these rebates are not passed along to patients and are instead used to pad the profits of middlemen. The current system creates perverse incentives that are driving the affordability crisis many patients face today.

GeoVax Zika Vaccine Study Published in the Atlas of Science


GeoVax Zika Vaccine Provides Potential for 100% Protection & Reduced Side-Effect Risks ATLANTA, GA, January 24, 2019 – GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTCQB: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing human vaccines, today announced the publication of a manuscript entitled “A Vaccine Candidate for Zika with Potential for Reduced Risk of Antibody-Dependent Enhancement (ADE).” The article is published in the open-access journal Atlas of Scienceand can be viewed at The article reports a major step forward in the development of a vaccine for protection against Zika virus (ZIKV). Testing in a highly rigorous challenge model showed the GeoVax vaccine, GEO-ZM02, provided 100% protection to mice infected with a lethal dose of ZIKV delivered directly into the brain. The study was funded by a grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which also provided technical assistance. GEO-ZM02 not only has the potential of a single-dose vaccine, which is practical to combat epidemics in resource-strained countries, but also does not bear the risk of enhancing other flavivirus infections, such as Dengue serotypes 1-4. This phenomenon, called Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE) of infection, has been shown to increase severity of Dengue infection in vivo, and is a safety concern for other Zika vaccines under development that utilize the structural Envelope (E) protein of ZIKV for their vaccine construct. GEO-ZM02 is based on the non-structural 1 (NS1) protein of ZIKV, which is not packaged into the virions and is not involved in ADE. Moreover, the NS1 protein is abundantly secreted into the blood of a ZIKV-infected individual and has been shown to play a critical role in flavivirus acquisition by mosquitoes by overcoming the immune barrier of the mosquito midgut. Therefore, a vaccine that targets the NS1 protein has the potential to protect both humans and mosquitoes from ZIKV infection; a novel vaccination strategy that could stem epidemics at a low vaccine coverage.

Georgia Bio to Celebrate 30 Years at Annual Awards Dinner


GRA’s Russell Allen and Inventor Richard Hillstead to Receive Top Honors ATLANTA, GA (January 22, 2019) – Georgia Bio, the state’s life science trade association, will celebrate its 30thAnniversary Gala & Annual Golden Helix Awards on Friday, February 8 at the Hyatt at Villa Christina in Atlanta. Georgia Bio is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Golden Helix Awards. The 2019 Golden Helix Awards celebrate the contributions and achievements of Georgia individual and company leaders working to advance the growth of the life sciences industry and foster strategic partnerships that can create a healthier world. The event is expected to draw 300 of the state’s life sciences industry leaders. Russell Allen, President & CEO of Georgia Research Alliance and former President & CEO of Georgia Bio; and Dr. Richard Hillstead, a long-time entrepreneur, inventor and investor who champions industry workforce development, are the recipients of the 2019 Georgia Bio Industry Growth Awards. The Industry Growth Awards are the highest honors bestowed each year by Georgia Bio.

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