Codagenix Announces the Synthesis and Preliminary Safety of Scalable, Live-attenuated Vaccine Candidate Against COVID-19


FARMINGDALE, N.Y., June 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Codagenix, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing prophylactic vaccines and oncolytic virus therapies, today announced the successful synthesis of a readily-scalable live-attenuated vaccine candidate against COVID-19. The vaccine, CDX-005, is currently undergoing safety and efficacy studies in animals and appears markedly attenuated compared to wild-type SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, with pre-clinical data expected by early July.

Codagenix, backed by investors Adjuvant Capital and TopSpin Partners, is collaborating with the Serum Institute of India to develop CDX-005. Although there are more than 140 COVID-19 vaccine candidates currently under development, CDX-005 is one of only a handful of live-attenuated approaches to tackling the current pandemic—even though this framework has led to some of history's most successful vaccines, such as those for measles, smallpox, and rubella. Codagenix is bringing this proven technology into the 21st century with its powerful deoptimization algorithms, allowing the company to engineer vaccine candidates that are structurally identical to naturally circulating SARS-CoV-2 at the amino acid level, yet are unable to efficiently replicate in the vaccine recipient. The goal of this approach is to stimulate a robust immune response that mimics that of the wild-type virus, without leading to clinical illness or further transmission. Codagenix scientists believe that, to the extent natural SARS-CoV-2 infection protects an individual from reinfection for a given period of time, CDX-005 has promising potential to do the same.

Equally important, CDX-005 grows to robust concentrations in cell culture, allowing its production to be scaled rapidly using fairly common vaccine manufacturing equipment to meet the vast, global demand. This is another distinguishing factor relative to the crowded landscape of other COVID-19 vaccines in development, such as those using mRNA, virus-like particles, or adenovirus-vectors, which in many cases may require specialized production infrastructure and/or comparably large quantities of antigen per person to be effective. The anticipated immunogenicity of CDX-005, in contrast, may require only modest quantities of active ingredient per person to be effective, potentially allowing the production of hundreds of millions of doses per year or more from existing vaccine facilities.

Following the successful completion of pre-clinical animal studies, CDX-005 will be manufactured by the Serum Institute and tested in a Phase I clinical trial slated to begin in the fall of 2020. Serum Institute will simultaneously scale manufacturing for large-scale safety and efficacy studies, in addition to preparations necessary to meet global vaccine supply requirements.

There are currently no licensed vaccines available against COVID-19. Until an effective vaccine becomes available, transmission of the virus can be prevented by frequent handwashing, social distancing, and wearing a face covering when in contact with others.

About Codagenix

Codagenix is a clinical-stage synthetic biology company that uses software to recode the genomes of viruses, constructing live-attenuated vaccines or viruses to prevent viral infections or treat solid tumors. Codagenix's recoded vaccine candidates are a perfect antigenic match to the target virus and induce a robust immune response to all viral antigens. For cancer, our nimble platform allows us to turn a virus into a potential oncolytic immuno-oncology therapy. Both programs rely on scalable, low-cost manufacturing. Codagenix Inc. spun out of the laboratory of National Academy of Science Member Eckard Wimmer at Stony Brook University in 2012 and is located at the Broad Hollow Bioscience Research Park in Farmingdale, N.Y. Our programs are supported by Adjuvant Capital, TopSpin Partners, Euclidean Capital, and government agencies such as the USDA, NIH/NIAID and the Department of Defense.

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About Adjuvant Capital

Adjuvant is a New York- and San Francisco-based life sciences fund built to accelerate the development of new technologies for the world's most pressing public health challenges. Backed by leading healthcare investors such as Merck, Novartis, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Adjuvant draws upon its global network of scientists, public health experts, biopharmaceutical industry veterans, and development finance professionals to identify new investment opportunities. Adjuvant invests in companies developing promising new vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and medical devices for historically overlooked indications such as malaria, cholera, Lassa fever and postpartum hemorrhage, with a commitment to make these interventions accessible to those who need them most in low- and middle-income countries.

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About Serum Institute of India

Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. is the world's largest vaccine manufacturer by number of doses produced and sold globally (more than 1.5 billion doses) which includes Polio vaccine as well as Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hib, BCG, r-Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccines. It is estimated that about 65% of the children in the world receive at least one vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute. Serum Institute of India was founded in 1966 by Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla with the aim of manufacturing life-saving immuno-biologicals, which were in shortage in the country and imported at high prices. Thereafter, several life-saving biologicals were manufactured at prices affordable to the common man and in abundance, with the result that the country was made self-sufficient for Tetanus Anti-toxin and Anti-snake Venom serum, followed by DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis) group of Vaccines and then later on MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) group of vaccines. The Philanthropic philosophy of the company has proliferated to bring down the prices of newer vaccines such as Hepatitis-B vaccine, Combination vaccine etc., so that not only India's, but the entire under-privileged children of the world are protected from birth onwards.


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SOURCE Codagenix, Inc.


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