CODA Biotherapeutics Announces New Preclinical Data From Epilepsy Program Showing Significant Correlation Between Gene Expression and Efficacy


Data presented at 2022 Epilepsy Foundation Pipeline Conference provide additional in vivo proof of concept for CODA's engineered receptors and activator drugs in controlling seizures

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- CODA Biotherapeutics, Inc. ("CODA"), a preclinical-stage biopharmaceutical company using a chemogenetic platform to treat prevalent intractable neurological disorders, today announced that preclinical data from the Company's focal epilepsy program demonstrated that treatment with the Company's lead engineered receptor and small molecule activator drug significantly reduced focal seizure frequency in vivo. Results showed that the rapid reduction in seizures is consistent with the pharmacokinetics of the activator drug in mouse models. Data also demonstrated that the expression of CODA's lead receptor is highly correlated with a reduction in seizure frequency. The data will be presented by Susan Catalano, Ph.D., CODA's chief science officer, at the 2022 Epilepsy Foundation Pipeline Conference being held June 5-6, 2022. 

CODA's approach to treating focal epilepsy is adeno-associated vector (AAV)-mediated delivery of a novel engineered inhibitory ion channel that is activated by binding to an orally bioavailable small molecule drug. Doses of this small molecule activator can be adjusted to fine tune control of hyperactivity brain cell firing and suppress seizures without adverse effects.

"The results showed that CODA's lead receptor and activator drug significantly reduces seizure frequency in two different models of focal epilepsy - electrical seizure threshold and kainic acid induction. Together, these model systems replicate many features of human temporal lobe epilepsy," said Dr. Catalano. "Importantly, our research showed that the expression of our lead receptor is highly correlated with a reduction in seizure frequency – the more receptor is expressed, the lower seizure frequency was."

Michael Narachi, president and CEO of CODA, said, "These results are exciting as the quantitative relationship between receptor expression and efficacy helps to identify the target range for receptor dosing in development-related studies. We look forward to advancing our epilepsy program as rapidly as possible so that we can provide new hope for patients suffering with intractable focal epilepsies."

Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic neurological diseases and, according to the Centers for Disease Control, affects more than 65 million people around the world of which 3.4 million are in the U.S. Epilepsy is characterized by unpredictable seizures and the term "focal" epilepsy is used to describe seizures that initiate from a specific location in the brain, typically in one hemisphere. Focal epilepsy represents approximately 60 percent of all epilepsy (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes). According to the World Health Organization, recurrent seizures disrupt normal brain functions, lead to neuronal loss, and result in cognitive and emotional deficits. Patients suffer from stigmatization, social isolation, combined with disability, educational underachievement, and poor employment outcomes. The Epilepsy Foundation estimates that one-third of people with epilepsy live with uncontrollable seizures because no available treatments are effective.

About the CODA Platform

CODA Biotherapeutics is developing a paradigm-shifting chemogenetic approach to treating neurological disorders. The Company's innovative treatment aims to modulate specific neuronal circuits via adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated delivery of an engineered, inhibitory receptor by standard-of-care neurosurgical procedures. The receptor is designed to be quiescent in the transduced cells but will specifically and dose-dependently inhibit neurons when exposed to a novel, orally bioavailable small-molecule activator agonist drug. CODA expects this treatment will produce substantially improved and durable results while potentially avoiding off-target/adverse effects of currently available treatments.

About CODA Biotherapeutics 

CODA Biotherapeutics, Inc., is a preclinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing an innovative gene delivery platform to treat intractable neurological disorders, with an initial focus on epilepsy, movement disorders, and neuropathic pain. The Company is creating the ability to control neurons with its revolutionary chemogenetics-based technology. CODA is located in South San Francisco, CA. For more information, please visit


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