GAITHERSBURG, Md., Nov. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- GenVec, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNVC) today announced that data exploring the immune responses generated by its vaccine candidate, GV2311, were presented at the 9th International Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Symposium being held in South Africa. These data were presented by Dr. Teresa R. Johnson, Chair of the Microbiology and Immunology Department of the Edward College of Osteopathic Medicine in Virginia. GV2311 utilizes GenVec's proprietary gorilla adenovector platform. These vectors are designed to produce superior performance in gene-based vaccines, including induction of durable high-level antibody responses as well as high-level T cell responses. They have also been shown to induce increased immune responses on repeat administration.
In the experiments described in the presentation, kinetics of RSV clearance in RSV and GV2311 immunized mice were determined on days 1 and 5 post-infection with low dose (105 plaque-forming units, PFU) and with high dose (106 PFU) RSV A2 challenge. Vaccine-induced T cells were evaluated in BALB/c mice immunized with RSV or GV2311 by in vivo depletion of CD4 and CD8 T cells (alone or in combination) at challenge. Similarly, wild-type or Jh transgenic mice (deficient in antibodies and mature B cells) were immunized, then challenged with RSV. Neutralizing antibody, RSV titers, and T cell function were measured in all experiments.
RSV immunized mice had no detectable virus following low dose challenge, while breakthrough RSV replication in both lungs and noses was rapidly controlled upon high dose challenge. GV2311 immunization fully protected the lungs at both challenge doses with partial protection in noses. The studies also confirm that the major protective mechanism is through induction of antibodies against RSV, although antigen specific T cells contribute to viral clearance in the absence of antibody. GV2311 was previously shown to induce protective immunity to RSV in a dose-dependent manner in established animal models.
"We are excited about the potential of our vaccine to address this widespread disease that remains a significant health concern to very young children, the elderly, and immunocompromised individuals," stated Douglas E. Brough, Ph.D., GenVec's Chief Scientific Officer. "This novel vaccine construct has shown very promising preclinical results, and has the potential to provide protection without triggering vaccine-enhanced disease or being neutralized by maternal antibodies in infants."
RSV is highly infectious, and people who have had the disease can re-infect. Most children will have an infection by the time they are two years old. Each year, 75,000 to 125,000 children in the United States are hospitalized with RSV infections. Although deaths are relatively rare, RSV can be life-threatening for immune compromised people, including premature infants, young children with heart and lung problems, and the elderly. No vaccine currently exists.
GenVec is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on leveraging its adenovector gene delivery platform to develop a pipeline of cutting-edge therapeutics and vaccines. The company is a pioneer in the design, testing and manufacture of adenovectored product candidates that can deliver on the promise of gene-based medicine. Current GenVec partners and collaborators include leading organizations such as Novartis and the U.S. Government. The company also licenses its proprietary technology platform, including vectors and production cell lines, for the development and manufacture of therapeutics and vaccines to the biopharmaceutical industry. GenVec's lead program, in the field of regenerative medicine, is licensed to Novartis for the development of novel treatments for hearing loss and balance disorders. Additional information about GenVec is available at www.genvec.com and in the company's various filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Statements herein relating to future financial or business performance, conditions or strategies and other financial and business matters, including with respect to the transition of GenVec's business focus are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. GenVec cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties, which change over time. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements or historical experience include risks and uncertainties, such as the failure of Novartis to advance GenVec's hearing loss and balance disorders program. Further information on the factors and risks that could affect GenVec's business, financial conditions and results of operations, are contained in GenVec's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which are available at www.sec.gov. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and GenVec assumes no duty to update forward-looking statements.
SOURCE GenVec, Inc.