CFB Client Secures $3M Public and Private Investment

Codagenix, Inc., a clinical stage, venture and public-sector-funded small business, announced it has secured an additional $3M in funding in support of its live-attenuated Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine candidate that was developed in collaboration with National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of NIH.

The public funding to Codagenix is via a Phase II SBIR grant for $1.5M to support the pre-clinical manufacturing of the vaccine candidate. The private funding of $1.5M was provided by TopSpin Partners to support a Phase I trial to demonstrate safety and immunogenicity in aged volunteers. The two funding source were not linked; however, both are dedicated to supporting Codagneix’s RSV vaccine through a Phase I trial. Clinical Trial material of Codagenix RSV Vaccine candidate is currently being manufactured with a Phase I targeted for Q3- or Q4-2018.

“Codagenix is an incredible example of a company rooting in our expanding bioecosystem, growing from a startup out of Stony Brook University into a clinical stage company” stated Dr. Clinton Rubin, Director of the New York State Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University. “The Center for Biotechnology is proud to provide ongoing support for the work they are doing through our various programs including the Applied Research and Development awards and the Long Island Bioscience Hub funding initiatives.

“We are wrapping up a Phase I with our live-attenuated Influenza Vaccine in Q1-2018 and are very much looking forward to adding a second clinical-stage compound to our pipeline with RSV,” stated Codegenix COO J. Robert Coleman. “We are grateful to our investors and partners like the Center for Biotechnology that understand our vision and continually support our development at these early stages. We are demonstrating that our platform provides a rational means to design vaccines against a range targets – yielding candidates suitable for full clinical development.”

Codagenix has raised a total of $10M since 2015 – with its influenza vaccine candidate currently in Phase I and a pre-clinical pipeline that includes Zika, Dengue, and Agricultural targets in addition to RSV.

RSV is a virus that targets newborns and the elderly, with an estimated market size of $2 Billion for a potential RSV vaccine.

About Codagenix Inc.
Codagenix Inc., a biotechnology company on Long Island, New York, is developing live attenuated vaccines using a “disruptive” software-based rational design algorithm that is unlike previous vaccine “platforms”. By leveraging the redundancy in the genetic code (various codons exist at the gene level to encode the same amino acid at the protein level), the Codagenix algorithm re-structures viral genomes into a sub-optimal genetic code. The so-called “deoptimized” viruses have resulted in highly attenuated vaccine strains that are effective at greatly reduced doses, because they present every antigen of the pathogen, while being 100% identical to the target pathogen at the protein level. The Codagenix pipeline of vaccines includes Influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Zika, Dengue, foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), pathogenic E. coli, and other pathogens.

Codagenix has also been supported the Center for Biotechnology at Stony brook University which is a New York State Center for Advanced Technology and NIH-designated Research, Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH)

Traverse Biosciences Accepted into NIH Commercialization Accelerator Program (CAP)

Traverse Biosciences, lead by CFB BioEntrepreneur-in-Residence (B-EIR) Joseph Scaduto, has announced that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has accepted the company into its competitive Commercialization Accelerator Program (CAP).

Hosted in partnership with the Larta Institute, NIH CAP is a 9-month program that is well-regarded for its combination of deep domain expertise and access to industry connections, which have resulted in measurable gains and accomplishments by participating companies. It is open only to NIH SBIR/STTR Phase II awardees, with only 80 slots available each year. The program enables participants to establish market and customer relevance, build commercial relationships, and focus on revenue opportunities available to them.

Last year, Traverse Biosciences announced that it had received a $1.3M Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award in partnership with the School of Dental Medicine at Stony Brook University. Read the full Traverse Biosciences announcement here.

CFB BEIR Receives $1.9M SBIR Fast-Track

Avanti Biosciences, Inc. a preclinical-stage biopharmaceutical company lead by Center for Biotechnology BioEntrepreneur-in-Residence Dr. Gian Luca Araldi, has announced that the National Institute of Aging (NIA) has awarded the Company an SBIR fast-track grant of up to $1,930,000 to support the company’s small molecule treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) over the next 3 years.

The award will enable the preparation and testing of Avanti’s proprietary compounds derivatized from natural catechins, which inhibit DYRK1A, an enzyme that modulates tau phosphorylation. Working with NY Institute for Basic Research and the University of California San Diego (UCSD), the company hopes to attenuate and potentially reverse pathogenesis for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.

“This award marks a significant milestone for Avanti Biosciences and an important step for their research into a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease” stated Dr. Clinton Rubin, Director of the New York State Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University. “The Center for Biotechnology is thrilled to see another success for one of the emerging bioscience companies fueling our regional bioecosystem and we proudly support Dr. Araldi’s work as one of our BioEntrepreneurs-in-Residence.”

Dr. Gian Luca Araldi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Avanti, stated, “We are delighted to have been granted this funding from the NIA as it underscores the great need for innovative, effective treatments for this disease, and recognizes the potential benefits that our compounds may provide for patients with AD. The continuous support of Center for Biotechnology and the BioEntrepreneur-in-Residence program has been critical force in the development of our technology and the company as whole.”

More than five million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive, irreversible, neurodegenerative disease that destroys memory and other cognitive abilities. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and as the aging population in the country grows, the incidence rate is expected to rise dramatically.

Learn more about Avanti Biosciences: avantibiosciences.com

Annual Applied Research And Development Awards Announced

Awards Support Innovative Research Collaborations Between Academic Faculty and Regional Bioscience Companies

The Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University has announced the recipients of the 2017-2018 Applied Research & Development (ARAD) awards. The ARAD Program is designed to help bridge the gap between the early-stage technology discovery and development capabilities of the academic community, and the later-stage commercial development interests of the bioscience industry.

The program currently provides matching funds on a competitive basis to support collaborations between Stony Brook University faculty and New York State corporate partners in all areas of medical biotechnology. The primary interest is in supporting development of technologies that will help companies hit commercially relevant milestones, and that have the potential to positively impact the New York State economy.

Projects supported this year include the furthered development of an ICU temporary pacemaker, a novel Lymphoma treatment, a novel synthetic peptide based therapeutic for Osteoporosis, further development of an fMRI Dynamic Phantom, development of novel vaccines, third generation taxoid based nanomedicine for chemoresistant cancer, development of a polymeric heart valve, a drug delivery technology for treatment of gastrointestinal diseases, and the development of skin brightening agents.

“The Center’s Applied Research and Development Program speaks to the core of what our organization does – collaborate with New York State companies to help them develop commercially promising technologies that will lead to strategic partnerships, investment, corporate revenues, and job creation” said Diane Fabel, Director of Operations for the Center for Biotechnology. “Our academic institutions are incredible resources for bioscience companies to tap into when it comes to technology development, and promoting interactions between the two helps fuel the overall bioscience ecosystem in the region.”

The ARAD Program is part of a suite of programs and services provided by the Center for Biotechnology (CFB) focused on accelerating the development of biomedical technologies in order to have a positive impact on human health and society. The CFB is also the lead administrative institution for the Long Island Bioscience Hub (LIBH) an NIH-designated Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) established with a National Institutes of Health grant in 2015.

2017-2018 Applied Research and Development Awards 

“Synthetic Osteogenic Peptide for Treatment of Osteoporosis” Ajes Life Sciences & Dr. Srinivas Pentyala

“fMRI Dynamic Phantom for Improved Detection of Resting State Brain Networks” ALA Scientific Instruments & Dr. Helmut Strey

“Continued Development of ICU Temporary Pacemaker” Avery Biomedical Inc & Dr. Wei Lin

“Novel Pleiotropic Skin Brightening Agents” Biocogent, LLC & Dr. Sanford Simon

“In vivo Testing of Vaccine Candidates” Codagenix, Inc & Dr. Eckard Wimmer

“A Novel Polymeric Valve for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement” Polynova Cardiovascular, Inc. & Dr. Danny Bluestein

“Imaging the Targeted Delivery of Biologic Agents to the Colon for Local Therapeutic Action” Symbiotic Health Inc. & Dr. Peter M. Smith-Jones

“Eradication of an Oncogenic Herpesvirus as a Novel Intervention for Lymphoma” Theragnostic Technologies, Inc. & Dr. Laurie T. Krug

“Novel Cancer Stem Cell Cytotoxic Agent: Nano-Formulation IND-Enabling Studies” TargaGenix Inc. & Dr. Galina Botchkina

Download a PDF of the press release here.