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CODA Genomics, Inc. Obtains NIAID Funding For Synthetic Biology And Protein Expression Of DNA Mutant Gene Sets

10/19/2005 5:09:12 PM

IRVINE, Calif., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- CODA Genomics, Inc.(CODA), a synthetic biology and protein expression company, announced today that it has obtained NIAID funding for expansion of its synthetic gene assembly and protein expression technology to enable simultaneous formation of coordinated mutant sets of genes quickly, easily, and inexpensively. Such easy access to large libraries of directed mutations of natural proteins is critical to optimal protein-based drug discovery, rapid development of DNA vaccines, and exploration of protein structure/function relationships. The grant, in excess of $500,000, is a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award between CODA and the University of California, Irvine (UCI). Dr. She-Pin Hung is the principal investigator (PI) for CODA, and Dr. Richard H. Lathrop is the PI for UCI.

CODA Genomics offers gene kits and services optimized to assemble DNA into single gene products that are guaranteed to express the desired protein. Current gene synthesis methods involve costly and time-consuming PCR, DNA sequencing, and sequence correction steps not necessary with CODA. CODA genes are optimized for correct self assembly, and also for characteristics that guarantee they express the desired protein at high levels in a biological expression system of choice, currently a difficult hurdle in protein drug discovery research. Most importantly, CODA's patented Translation Kinetics methods can create engineered DNA constructs that allow facile research on protein structure/function properties such as solubility, excretion, and folding.

Dr. Robert Molinari, CEO of CODA, comments, "CODA makes synthetic biology so robust that we can offer kits which guarantee that individual researchers in their own labs can assemble genes and express proteins. This saves time and expense. For large protein drug SAR (structure-activity relationship) studies, libraries of individual directed constructs can be made easily and quickly, with relative certainty that proteins will express properly. We are delighted the NIAID has chosen to fund the further development of this technology for large mutational studies."

CODA Genomics, Inc. was started in 2004 to commercialize the DNA assembly and protein expression optimization work from the laboratories of Drs. Richard Lathrop and G. Wesley Hatfield at the University of California, Irvine. The basic science was developed under a prestigious Information Technology Research (ITR) award to Drs. Lathrop and Hatfield from the National Science Foundation (NSF). In addition to DNA assembly thermodynamics, CODA optimizes codon usage preferences AND patented codon pair-wise combinations that control translational kinetics to generate high levels of the proper protein constructs. CODA's motto, "Synthetics Genes -- Guaranteed to Express." is put into practice with the company's CODExpress(TM) Gene Kits and Services. In addition, CODA offers collaborations for protein drug and production engineering based on large structure/activity studies of related proteins. These technologies allow researchers to assemble DNA constructs reliably, more quickly, less expensively, and on a scale never before possible.

CODA Genomics, Inc.

CONTACT: Dr. Robert Molinari, CEO of CODA Genomics, Inc., +1-650-917-9256,

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