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Codagenix wins grant to develop viruses for vaccines
Codagenix Inc., a startup biotech company based in Stony Brook, has won a $600,000 federal grant to develop computer-generated viruses that drugmakers use to produce vaccines.
The company uses algorithms to design harmless copycats of deadly viruses that are far more realistic than the replicas currently used by pharmaceutical companies, said Rob Coleman, Codagenix’s vice president of business development.
For more than a century, scientists have been producing vaccines by slowly mutating viruses through trial and error until the virulent bugs become harmless to humans. Codagenix’s computerized method, developed at Stony Brook University, is designed to speed up the process, eliminate the guess work and produce knock-off viruses that make stronger vaccines.
The grant, from the National Institutes of Health, provides $300,000 annually for two years, with an option of $1 million annually for three years if the company hits certain performance standards.
Codagenix is based at the Long Island High Technology Incubator at Stony Brook University and has three employees, with plans to expand to five.