GeoVax plans to initiate preclinical testing and phase I study to evaluate the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of GEO ZM02 and a second candidate expressing the ZIKV Envelope protein  .
In November 2017, Geovax reported that in studies for Zika, a single dose of vaccine protected animals against a lethal challenge  .
In September 2017, Geovax released results from a new study performed in Rhesus Macaques, which provided in vivo evidence that prior exposure to Zika virus infection can enhance dengue infections, if the individual is subsequently infected by a dengue carrying mosquito  .
GeoVax, in March 2017, reported promising results from the preclinical trials of MVA-ZIKV-NS1 for zika virus infections, wherein the candidate provided 100% protection to mice infected with a lethal dose of Zika virus, which was directly delivered to the brain. All mice administered with a single intramuscular dose of MVA-ZIKV-NS1 survived while the sham-immunised control mice died within a week of infection in the study. Robust humoral and cellular responses were provided by vaccine. The study was funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)   . Further, the company reported that GEO ZM02 is based on the NS1 antigen that does not carry the risk of Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE) of infection and could potentially block transmission of ZIKV from humans back to its mosquito host  .
In November 2016, GeoVax reported that it has commenced preclinical animal studies for zika virus vaccine programme  .
In October 2016, GeoVax announced that animal efficacy experiments using two different mouse models developed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the University of Georgia are currently ongoing  .
In June 2016, GeoVax reported that it was developing two MVA-VLP Zika virus vaccine candidates using sequences from the Asian strain that spread to the Americas. This strain is linked to microcephaly in newborns and Guillian-Barre syndrome in adults. The first vaccine candidate is designed to express Zika pre-Membrane and Envelope (prME) proteins to produce Zika VLPs intended to elicit neutralizing antibodies that can block the Zika virus at its entry point into the host. The second candidate expresses Zika non-structural protein, that induces protective antibodies and also cellular responses against flavivirus infections in humans, in addition to Zika VLPs. GeoVax also reported that the prME constructs expressed intracellular VLPs in multi-lamellar structures, and that the VLPs were present in the cells in which they were formed and were also secreted into the cell culture supernatant. The company it is planning to evaluate the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of the vaccine candidates in multiple animal models, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the University of Georgia, and Emory University   .
In June 2017, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), awarded GeoVax a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant of $US600 000, in support of its novel Zika vaccine development program. The grant entitled "Advanced Preclinical Testing of a Novel Recombinant Vaccine Against Zika Virus" will support preclinical testing of GeoVax's vaccine candidates in non-human primates in preparation for the initiation of a phase I human clinical study, namely GEO ZM02 and a second expressing the ZIKV Envelope protein. The grant intends to evaluate the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of these two vaccine candidates in non-human primates   .