Commercialization Fellowship for High School Students & Undergrads

The Center for Biotechnology is seeking one or more qualified and motivated high school /undergrad students interested in learning about and supporting technology development and commercialization of new biomedical innovations on behalf of the Long Island Bioscience Hub (LIBH). The LIBH is a National Institutes of Health-designated Research, Evaluation, and Commercialization Hub (REACH), one of only three such centers in the country. The LIBH supports the development and commercialization activities of its partner institutions including Stony Brook University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and Brookhaven National Laboratory. Candidates for the Fellowship will have completed their sophomore year in high school through junior year in undergraduate studies. Candidates should have a GPA of no less than a 3.0, and have an interest in exploring careers in a biomedical field. Interested candidates should send a one-page statement of interest detailing their academic accomplishments and describing what they would like to gain from the Fellowship experience, along with a transcript to: Kristina Duryea kristina.duryea@stonybrook.edu.

Selection Process:
Deadline for application materials is May 1 – June 2, 2017.
Additional admissions procedures (including interviews, by telephone or in person) may be required.

Notification:
Applicants will generally be notified by June 9, 2017. One-two applicants are expected to be selected.

NIH-REACH: Lowering the Barriers that Slow Translation Research

The Center for Biotechnology’s Clint Rubin and Diane Fabel recently co-authored a STAT article on the NIH-REACH proof-of-concept program. In 2015, The Center for Biotechnology received one of three national NIH-REACH designations, through which the Long Island Bioscience Hub was established.

The article, co-authored by all of the REACH center directors, discusses the importance of REACH-type programs and the impact REACH has been able have in a relatively short amount of time. In just over two years, the three REACH institutions have evaluated over 400 promising product development projects, funding more than 60 experimental treatments and tests that target a wide range of health issues.

Read the full text here: https://www.statnews.com/2017/04/17/nih-reach-biomedicine-treatments/

Celmatix unveils Fertilome


New York City based start-up Celmatix has unveiled “Fertilome”, a DNA-based fertility test. The company describes Fertilome as the “first genetic screen that examines a woman’s genetic signature and how it may impact her reproductive health and ability to conceive, today and in the future.”

Fertilome looks at 49 variants in 32 genes associated with a broad spectrum of female reproductive conditions. Information derived from the test could allow women to see a broader picture of their fertility, allowing for a more proactive approach to planning their family and overcoming fertility issues. Click here to read more about Celmatix and Fertilome.

Codagenix Inks Exclusive License Agreement

Codagenix, Inc. has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Stony Brook University, through the Research Foundation for the State of New York, to commercialize a platform technology to develop a pipeline of live attenuated vaccines against viral infections in people and animals. The technology relies on software to re-design the genomes of potentially harmful viruses to make them safe and effective vaccines. The technology stems from research in the laboratory of Eckard Wimmer, PhD, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology. The lead indication for vaccine development generated is a vaccine against Seasonal Influenza slated for Phase I human clinical trials in 2017.

Dr. Wimmer, along with Steffen Mueller, PhD, Codagenix President and Chief Science Officer, and J. Robert Coleman, PhD, Codagenix Chief Operating officer, worked as colleagues for years in Dr. Wimmer’s laboratory examining and experimenting with the genes of viruses. By collaborating with Stony Brook scientists Bruce Futcher, PhD, in the Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, and Steven Skienna, PhD, in the Department of Computer Science, they discovered a way using gene manipulation and computer algorithms to “re-code” the genes of viruses. This re-coding process makes viruses extremely weak and thus ideal candidates as ultra-low dose attenuated vaccines.

The licensing agreement enables Codgenix to develop and potentially market next generation vaccines using software-based gene design and whole viral synthesis to create low-dose, attenuated virus vaccines. The company expects to use this design to first test its vaccine against influenza; however, there are plans for human testing of their Zika and other vaccine candidates. Codagenix is also in partnership with a large agricultural company to make vaccines using the technology for companion and agricultural animals.

The technology has been shown to be effective against numerous viruses including ZIka, Dengue, and RSV all of which are in preclinical testing. The development of this pipeline of vaccines can be seen in numerous scientific papers since 2008, including a paper in Science, PNAS, National Biotechnology and most recently in 2015 in MBIo.

Read Stony Brook University’s full press release here. 

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