CFB Operations Director Inducted into SBU Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors

CFB Director of Operations, Diane Fabel, has been inducted into the Stony Brook University Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI-SBU) as an honorary member. At the chapter’s Annual Meeting on May 1, 2017, 16 new members and 2 honorary members were inducted into the Academy. Ms. Fabel and her fellow inductees join 30 stony brook faculty members, including CFB Director Clinton Rubin, who were inducted as inaugural members to the SBU-NAI in 2016.

Read more on the chapter and this year’s inductees 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/

CEWIT Medical Technologies and Healthcare Innovations Symposium

CEWIT, the Center for Biotechnology and Henry Schein, Inc., have joined forces to host an expert symposium presenting cutting-edge advances in biomedical and clinical-related technologies, digital health, and smart medical devices, focusing on the technology as well as the joint industry, academic, and R&D partnerships that are integral to major innovations in the healthtech domain — at Stony Brook University.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 9:30am-3:30pm
The Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT) at Stony Brook University
1500 Stony Brook Road, Stony Brook, NY 11794-6040

Event is free but registration is requires. View full agenda and register here: www.cewit.org/events/healthtech.html

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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