CFB Director Elected Fellow, National Academy of Inventors (NAI)

Clinton Rubin, PhD, Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Stony Brook University has been elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). According to the NAI, election as an NAI Fellow is a high honor bestowed upon academic innovators and inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions and innovations that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society. Dr. Rubin and fellow SBU Distinguished Professor Dr. Arie Kaufman will be inducted as NAI Fellows during its 2018 national meeting in Washington, DC, on April 5.

With the election of the 2017 class there are now 912 NAI Fellows, representing over 250 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes. The 2017 Fellows are named inventors on nearly 6,000 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 32,000 issued U.S. patents.

Professor Rubin, founding chair of Stony Brook’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, pioneered research in understanding the role of mechanical signals in the musculoskeletal system and has patented technology that includes use of low frequency mechanical signals (vibrations) to combat disease like osteoporosis and obesity.

More on Dr. Rubin’s election as an NAI Fellow can be access here and here.

Funding Opportunity: SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund Accepting Proposals

The proposal submission deadline for the SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund Class of 2018 is February 16, 2018.

Faculty, staff, and students from all disciplines and campuses are encouraged to submit proposals for the SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund Class of 2018 funding. The deadline for submitting proposals is February 16, 2018. See TAF Class of 2018 Application and Administrative Guidelines.

The SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund (“TAF”) provides funding to support the advancement of SUNY innovations from the lab to the marketplace. Since its launch in 2011, the TAF has successfully advanced the commercial readiness of a number of SUNY-developed innovations. In most cases, SUNY innovations developed through sponsored research lack critical proof-of-concept data that is needed to attract investment by potential licensees or investors. TAF support targets the critical milestones needed to demonstrate that an innovation is worthy of external investment. TAF’s strategic objective is to facilitate the commercialization of SUNY-developed innovations for the public benefit in an expeditious and effective manner. The aim is to identify opportunities where small investments will provide significant impacts on making SUNY innovations available to the public. Different from fundamental research, TAF investments support proof-of-concept and technology development projects to validate the commercial feasibility of SUNY technology. The goal is to facilitate the translation of SUNY technology into marketable products and/or services by enhancing strategic academic-industry partnerships and building new entrepreneurial

Please be advised that all proposals require the review and participation of your campus administration prior to submission. To be certain that you adhere to any local proposal submission deadlines, we urge you to immediately contact your technology transfer office and/or office of sponsored programs if you are interested in applying for TAF Class of 2018 funding.

Questions? Please send any questions to TAF@rfsuny.org. All questions and answers will be posted to www.rfsuny.org/taf.

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)

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