CODA Biotherapeutics' Chemogenetic Gene Therapy Platform Can Control Focal Seizures in vivo


Data presented at 2021 American Epilepsy Society Meeting provide proof of concept for CODA-engineered ligand-gated ion channels


SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Dec. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- CODA Biotherapeutics ("CODA"), today announced the presentation of preclinical data suggesting that the Company's chemogenetic gene therapy platform can control focal seizures in vivo. Collectively, the results showed efficacy of the CODA chemogenetic approach in controlling spontaneous seizures in a model system that replicates many features of human temporal lobe epilepsy.

The study was conducted by a team of neuroscientists led by Ivan Soltesz, PhD, the James R. Doty Professor of Neurosurgery and Neurosciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The data were presented in a poster presentation entitled, "Controlling focal seizures using novel chemogenetic tools," at the American Epilepsy Society (AES) 2021 Annual Meeting, held December 3-5, 2021 in Chicago, IL. (Abstract 1.406). The poster abstract can be found on the AES website here.

"These data provide in vivo proof of concept for the treatment of focal epilepsy with CODA's chemogenetic technology," said Michael Narachi, president and CEO of CODA "We look forward to advancing the overall platform toward the clinic, led by these exciting results, which provide new hope for patients suffering with intractable focal epilepsies."

In addition to Dr. Soltesz, study co-authors included Peter M. Klein, PhD (presenting author), Quynh Anh Nguyen, PhD, and Jesslyn Homidan.

About the CODA Platform
CODA Biotherapeutics is developing a paradigm-shifting gene therapy approach by deploying a chemogenetic strategy for 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 agonist. CODA expects this treatment will produce substantially improved and durable results while potentially avoiding off-target/adverse effects of currently available treatments.

About Focal Epilepsy and Neuropathic Pain
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.

According to a study published in the Journal of Pain Research, 10 percent of the U.S. population suffers from neuropathic pain – an estimated 30 million Americans. Neuropathic pain is caused by damage or disease of the sensory system, leading to chronic debilitation and loss of quality of life. Current pharmacological therapies for chronic neuropathic pain, such as opioids, anticonvulsants, and tricyclic anti-depressants, are not always effective and can have side effects, including the potential for addiction.

About CODA Biotherapeutics 
CODA Biotherapeutics, Inc., is a preclinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing an innovative gene therapy platform to treat neurological disorders. 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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