Biotech

Codagenix commences Zika vaccine testing

By GREGORY ZELLER // Farmingdale biotech Codagenix Inc. has commenced the first tests of its potential Zika virus vaccines in a living host. In a noteworthy display of speed sure to impress the medical community and potential investors alike, the 2012 startup began in vivo testing of its live-attenuated Zika virus vaccine candidates earlier this month – just 27 days after it plugged Zika into its proprietary, synthetic biology-based vaccine-design platform. The safety and efficacy study…


Chembio lands $13.2M Zika contract

Medford-based Chembio Diagnostics has won a $13.2 million federal contract to further develop its rapid test for the Zika virus, the company announced Thursday. Almost $6 million of the money – from the Department of Health and Human Services – will go toward its Zika test and a companion field monitor, the company said. Another $7.3 million will be used for development of a combination test for Zika, chikungunya and dengue. The firm, which also makes…


Feinstein researchers nab major NIH awards

Two cutting-edge Feinstein Institute for Medical Research projects have been selected for an elite National Institutes of Health funding program. Kevin Tracey, the institute’s president and CEO, and Ping Wang, Feinstein’s chief scientific officer, will continue their groundbreaking research into bioelectronic medicine and sepsis, respectively, with help from the NIH’s Maximizing Investigators’ Research Awards program. Through the NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences – which supports “basic research that increases understanding of biological processes…


Traverse sinks teeth into human periodontal study

By GREGORY ZELLER // It seems everyone wants a piece of TRB-N0224. Already being tested as a potential treatment for lung injuries and for periodontal disease in dogs and cats, the flagship formula patented by Stony Brook-based Traverse Biosciences will now be pitted against inflammatory diseases threating bone and tissue around human teeth. The National Institutes of Health has awarded Traverse Biosciences, in partnership with Stony Brook University’s School of Dental Medicine, a $1.32 million…


Some pig: USDA, Codagenix target swine flu

By GREGORY ZELLER // With Zika virus, Foot and Mouth Disease and other global threats already in its crosshairs, Farmingdale biotech Codagenix Inc. is challenging another high-profile opponent: swine flu. A Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will fund research and development of an influenza vaccine for swine using Codagenix’s proprietary software platform, which “re-codes” viruses to create and test potential vaccines. Research and development under the $99,710…


Traverse, SUNY, DoD set big test for TRB-N0224

Stony Brook-based biotech Traverse Biosciences will share a Department of Defense award with SUNY Upstate Medical University to fund a critical field test of Traverse’s leading drug candidate. The effectiveness of TRB-N0224 as a treatment for lung injuries – including acute respiratory distress syndrome, a common condition in critically ill patients with a mortality rate as high as 50 percent – will be put to the test via a DoD Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program…


Study is big news for Vagus pioneer Tracey

By GREGORY ZELLER // Medical science has taken an enormous step toward “using electronics to replace drugs.” Kevin Tracey’s words sound downright science-fictional. And no, researchers cannot wave a medical tricorder and instantly cure ailments like “Star Trek” medic “Bones” McCoy. But they’re getting closer to a world where high-tech implants – not pharmaceuticals – are the most effective treatments for inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson’s disease. A recent clinical trial in the…


‘Accidental’ find may be COPD breakthrough

By GREGORY ZELLER // From the Didn’t See That Coming File comes Stony Brook University researcher Ute Moll and the p73 gene – potentially, a master key to unlocking new treatments for chronic lung diseases. As part of a cancer study, a team led by Moll – a professor in the SBU School of Medicine’s Department of Pathology – and research scientist Alice Nemajerova studied a family of genes including the p53, “the mother of…


Traverse Biosciences lands key seed investment

By GREGORY ZELLER // A critical seed investment will help Traverse Biosciences commercialize pharmaceutical candidates licensed from the SUNY Research Foundation. The circa-2013 Stony Brook-based biotech has secured $500,000 in convertible debt financing in a round led by Excell Partners, a Rochester-based venture capital fund partial to early-stage, high-tech startups. The SUNY Research Foundation added an undisclosed investment to Excell Partner’s $100,000 stake, while a collection of 10 accredited angel investors – “almost exclusively from…


Novel Parkinson’s Procedure Pumps Up NSUH

By GREGORY ZELLER // They’re dancing in the aisles, literally, at North Shore University Hospital, thanks to a revolutionary treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Surgeons at the Manhasset hospital, part of the Northwell Health system, recently completed their first endoscopic procedure involving Duopa, an effective drug combo administered via a cutting-edge cassette-pump system marketed by Chicago-based pharma AbbVie Inc. Approved by the FDA in January, Duopa marks the first Parkinson’s disease treatment to administer medicine –…


Applied DNA Taking it to Swedish car thieves

By GREGORY ZELLER // Let this be a warning to Swedish car thieves: Applied DNA Sciences is on the case. Through Safesolutions AB (bring your Swedish or try the Google Translate version), the Stony Brook-based supply-chain, anti-counterfeiting, anti-theft, product-genotyping and product-authentication specialist is now applying its flagship SigNature DNA products to luxury cars imported into Sweden. Safesolutions, Applied DNA Sciences’ Swedish distributor, has inked a contract with Swedish importers that will mark a minimum of…


Feinstein’s Tracey to head bioelectronics summit

Feinstein Institute chief and global bioelectronics pioneer Kevin Tracey will headline a September New York Academy of Science conference on bioelectronic medicine. Tracey, Feinstein’s president and CEO and the brains behind bioelectronic startup Sanguistat, will share keynote duties with Peder Olofsson, a longtime Feinstein Institute researcher and Wallenberg Academy Fellow at the Karolinska Institutet. The two will headline Key Symposium 2016: Bioelectronic Medicine – Technology Targeting Molecular Mechanisms, presented by the Feinstein Institute, the Royal…


TheraSource snags $3M SBIR grant

By GREGORY ZELLER // A Feinstein Institute-born biotech will tackle radiation poisoning thanks to a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. TheraSource, a Manhasset-based 2004 startup spun out of Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, has received a $3 million, three-year Small Business Innovation Research grant from the NIAID, part of the National Institutes of Health. The grant will support the development of an innovative treatment to alleviate physical damage…


Applied DNA inks $2.5M federal contract

By GREGORY ZELLER // Biotech firm Applied DNA Sciences has announced a new $2.5 million contract with “a U.S. government agency” covering the use of its flagship SigNature DNA security and authentication products – the first deal of what’s shaping up as another big fiscal year for the Stony Brook-based startup. The contract is actually a blanket purchase agreement that runs through March 2021 and has two distinct purposes: to facilitate the sale of existing…


Feinstein joins the LI Bioscience Hub

By GREGORY ZELLER // The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research has joined the ranks of the Long Island Bioscience Hub. The Feinstein Institute, the research wing of the Northwell Health system, becomes the LIBH’s fourth member institution, joining Stony Brook University’s Center for Biotechnology, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory. As a partner institution, the Feinstein Institute and its researchers are eligible for funding programs supporting feasibility and proof-of-concept studies. The LIBH, which…