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)

Long Island Bioscience Hub Announces Latest Funded Projects

Innovative phase-0 proof-of-concept center continues advancement
of commercially promising biomedical innovations.

The Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University, on behalf of the Long Island Bioscience Hub (LIBH), announced the recipients of the fourth round of funded projects under the Hub’s technology development and commercialization initiative. Funding for five projects totaling $400,000 has been awarded to applicants from the Hub’s partner institutions. Partner institutions include Stony Brook University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research at Northwell Health. Over the last two years, more than $2.5M has been awarded to further the development of commercially promising technologies.

There are two categories of awards under the LIBH funding initiative – Feasibility and Proof-of-Concept. “Feasibility awards” are funded at up to $50,000 and designed to rapidly test the feasibility of new ideas in a “fail-fast-or-proceed” format, or to add value to existing intellectual property leading to new market applications. Proof-of-Concept awards provide up to $100,000 for targeted, milestone driven support for further development, testing, and analysis of existing intellectual property.

In this cycle, two feasibility awards have been given to Stony Brook University researchers exploring technologies that include a novel anti-fungal for life threatening blood infections and a new computational method for macrocyclic drug discovery. Proof-of-Concept projects this cycle include a drug-sensitive and drug-resistant TB combination therapy, a novel therapeutic for the treatment of colorectal cancer, and a next-generation medical imaging tool with applications in mammography.

“While the Long Island Bioscience Hub is only two‐years in existence, it has already had major impacts including the establishment of four companies.” said Clinton T. Rubin, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Director, Center for Biotechnology. “Additionally, this round of funding further enhances the LIBH-REACH pipeline that already has resulted in eight patent applications, five options/licenses and more than forty SBIR/STTR applications related to REACH technologies and small business clients.”

“I applaud the efforts of the Long Island Bioscience Hub as they continue to draw out the cutting edge biomedical innovations that exist within our research labs and their work with faculty innovators and the local bioscience community to accelerate commercial development.” said Dr. Richard Reeder, Vice President for Research at Stony Brook University. “Stony Brook University is deeply committed to the translation of basic research and the Hub’s successes demonstrate that we need to continue to foster the activities of the Hub.”

The technology development awards made available by the LIBH are specifically aimed at growing a pipeline of commercially promising biomedical technologies that can be out-licensed for further development or serve as the foundation for new company formations in the region. The main goal of the LIBH is to foster the development of therapeutics, preventatives, diagnostics, devices and research tools emerging from LIBH partner institutions that address diseases within the NIH’s mission.

Funded Projects –May 2017 Awards

“A Small Molecule Drug for the Treatment of Systemic Candidiasis” Nicolas Carpino, PhD and Jarrod French, Stony Brook University – Feasibility Award

“BRIKARD, a Program for Macrocyclic Drug Discovery” Evangelos Coutsias, PhD, Stony Brook University – Feasibility Award

“Selenium multi-Well Avalanche Detectors for Medical Imaging Applications” Amirhossein Goldan, PhD, Stony Brook University – Proof of Concept Award

“Developing Novel miR-129 Mimic Based Therapeutics for Colorectal Cancer” Jingfang Ju, PhD, Stony Brook University – Proof of Concept Award

“Azasteroid for Combination anti-TB Therapy” Nicole Sampson, PhD, Stony Brook University – Proof of Concept Award

Download a PDF of the press release here.

CFB Director Testifies Before Joint Congressional Hearing

On Thursday May 4, 2017 Center for Biotechnology Director Dr. Clinton Rubin was fortunate to testify at a joint congressional hearing on “Improving the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs”. Dr. Rubin was present to discuss the NIH-REACH Program – which is the program that supported the creation of the Long Island Bioscience Hub.

Dr. Rubin spoke about the importance of initiatives like REACH which promote the development of “Phase 0” proof-of concept centers embedded within university communities. The activities of these centers are critical in promoting under-realized innovations out of academic labs and into the hands of patients as Universities often face significant challenges when it comes to commercializing translational research. He talk about the fact that in a very short amount of time, the three hubs created by the REACH program have already seen major impacts at our institution, fostering new intellectual property, increasing credibility with the investor community, promoting a shift in the academic culture, attracting new licensing opportunities, and most importantly, catalyzing the formation of new companies – some of which have successfully secured SBIR funding.

Programs like REACH fuel the growth of the small business community around university centers, and drives science towards successful new treatments for disease.

The committee hearing is available to view at this link. Dr. Rubin’s comments begin at 2:53:06

CFB Director Clint Rubin and Director of Operations Diane Fabel at a joint congressional hearing on May 4, 2017.

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/

Long Island Bioscience Hub Announces Additional Funded Projects

Third round of grants awarded for the development of commercially promising biomedical innovations

The Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University, on behalf of the Long Island Bioscience Hub (LIBH), announced the recipients of the third round of funded projects under the Hub’s technology development and commercialization initiative. Funding for ten projects totaling $550,000 has been awarded to applicants from the Hub’s partner institutions. Partner institutions include Stony Brook University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research at Northwell Health. Eighteen months after its establishment, the LIBH has already awarded more than $2M to faculty innovators.

The technology development awards made available by the LIBH are specifically aimed at growing a pipeline of commercially promising biomedical technologies that can be out-licensed for further development or serve as the foundation for new company formations in the region. There are two tiers of funding, each with the goal of accelerating technology development to reach a critical development inflection point. Feasibility awards ($50,000) are designed to rapidly test the feasibility of new ideas in a “fail-fast-or-proceed” format, or to add value to existing intellectual property leading to new market applications. Proof-of-Concept Awards ($100,000) provide targeted, milestone driven support for further development, testing, and analysis of existing intellectual property.

A wide range of disciplines are represented in the project awards this cycle including radiology, quantitative biology, biomedical engineering, chemistry, neurosurgery and cancer research. Nine Feasibility awards and one Proof of Concepts award have been funded this cycle. Projects awarded funding in this round include the development of radiotracers for use with PET scans to detect bacterial infections, specifically infective endocarditis (IE); a non-immune-based drug targeting amyloid ß-protein (Aß) for the treatment of mild Alzheimer’s disease; DNA nano-carrier platform technology for targeted anti-thrombotic drug delivery in prosthetic heart valve and mechanical circulatory support patients; A medical device utilizing electrical and software engineering in order to detect congenital heart disease in newborn children, and profiling the human immune system through machine learning and bioinformatics. The full list of funded projects can be found on the LIBH webpage.

“The latest announcement of funded project for the LIBH demonstrates the volume of innovation housed within partner institutes that is primed to be moved out of the academic lab and into the commercial sector in order to help patients” said Clinton T. Rubin, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Director, Center for Biotechnology. “It is exciting to witness our region’s innovators contemplating their research in ways they hadn’t before, and to see the vibrancy of the bioscience cluster on Long Island growing with each new project proposed.”

“Putting CSHL scientists together with HUB biotech entrepreneurs and industry reviewers is key to the successful translation of early stage ideas resulting from the basic research of Dr. Lingbo Zhang and Mickey Atwal, said Teri Willey, CSHL Vice President Business Development and Technology Transfer. “Zhang’s genetic research on myelodysplastic syndrome will be complimented by experience in medicinal chemistry. Similarly, Atwal’s work on developing therapeutics using physics and math to profile to the immune system will benefit from industry reviewers to guide it toward patient benefit.”

“The success of the Long Island Bioscience Hub demonstrates the value of creative partnerships in bringing medical solutions that help address patients’ needs from the research lab to the doctor’s office and the medical clinic. We are proud to be part of the Bioscience Hub’s success,” said Kevin J. Tracey, M.D., President and CEO of the Feinstein Institute.

The main goal of the LIBH is to foster the development of therapeutics, preventatives, diagnostics, devices and research tools emerging from LIBH partner institutions that address diseases within the NIH’s mission.

Download a PDF of the press release here.

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