Farmingdale, New York, December 2, 2019– Codagenix, Inc., announces today the renewal of a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) Foreign Animal Disease Research Unit, located at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) on Plum Island.
Codagenix and USDA-ARS have been working together on a new, rapidly adaptable vaccine against the livestock pathogen, foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV). FMDV can decimate stocks of cattle and swine, rendering them unsuitable for the human food chain and requiring mass culls. Though FMDV has not been seen in the United States for decades, it remains a select agent and a bioterrorism threat for the potentially massive economic and food supply impacts it may cause. Renewal of the CRADA will allow Codagenix and the USDA to continue research toward obtaining regulatory approval for use in animals. Such approval is a necessary step in the continued development of the vaccine that will potentially allow USDA to be better prepared to respond to a possible outbreak of FMDV.
“FMDV is a significant priority for the USDA and other agencies with a mission in homeland defense. Our ongoing work with the USDA on a new, live-attenuated vaccine against FMDV has the potential to solve shortfalls in the current vaccine, thereby addressing a critical gap in our nation’s preparedness,” commented Codagenix’s CEO, Dr. J. Robert Coleman.
“The effectiveness of current control measures has been challenged over the years and FMD remains endemic in of most of the world. The only two viral diseases ever eradicated, smallpox and rinderpest utilized live-attenuated vaccines. It is our timely opportunity to exploit new technologies based on a similar approach,” mentioned ARS scientist Dr. Teresa De Los Santos.
The Codagenix FMDV vaccine was constructed using Codagenix’s proprietary, software-based algorithm to “deoptimize” the expression of key FMDV genes to construct live-attenuated FMDV strain(s). This live-attenuated vaccine is produced in cell culture, in a scalable and easy-to-manufacture format. Its projected low dose poses a significant advantage over currently-used, inactivated vaccines and may allow for rapid scale-up in the event of an outbreak.
In addition to FMDV, Codagenix is leveraging its vaccine development platform to construct and test vaccines against human and animal pathogens, including swine influenza, human respiratory syncytial virus, and dengue. Current investors in Codagenix include TopSpin Partners of Roslyn NY as well as support from the NIH, USDA, and The Stony Brook University Center for Biotechnology.
Codagenix is a clinical stage synthetic biology company that uses software to recode the genomes of viruses, constructing live-attenuated vaccines or viruses to prevent viral infections or treat solid tumors. Codagenix’s recoded vaccine candidates are a perfect antigenic match to the target virus and induce a robust immune response to all viral antigens. For cancer, our nimble platform allows us to turn a virus into a potential oncolytic immuno-oncology therapies. Both programs rely on scalable, low-cost manufacturing. Codagenix Inc. spun out of the laboratory of National Academy of Science Member Eckard Wimmer at Stony Brook University in 2012. Codagenix is located at the Broad Hollow Bioscience Research Park in Long Island, NY. Over the last 7 years, Codagenix successfully attracted over $17M in private and public funding to support development of vaccines and oncolytics. Our programs are supported by TopSpin Partners (Roslyn, NY) and government agencies such as the USDA, NIH/NIAID, and the Department of Defense.