On July 5, 2022, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and Codiak BioSciences (NASDAQ: CDAK) announced the latest funding award under CEPI’s US $200m programme to advance the development of vaccines that provide broad protection against SARS-CoV-2 (including its variants) and other Betacoronaviruses. CEPI will provide seed funding of up to US $2.5 million to Codiak--a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA--to continue the advancement of vaccine candidates from its pan Betacoronavirus program through preclinical studies. Codiak’s proprietary exoVACC™ platform leverages engineered exosomes--naturally occurring, extracellular nanoparticle vesicles--to precisely control antigen display on the surface or in the lumen, in order to deliver antigens, adjuvants, and immunomodulators selectively to antigen-presenting cells to maximize immune response. Codiak’s pan Betacoronavirus vaccine construct carries the receptor-binding domain (RBD) protein of both SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 at high density on the surface of the exosome, combined with structurally constrained, highly conserved T-cell antigens expressed in the lumen, and stable loading of a STING agonist (STING is acronym for “stimulator of interferon genes”). This design closely resembles the natural viral structures, and these engineered exosomes stimulate a broad immune response comprising both antibody- and T-cell-mediated immunity.
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