On June 1, 2020, Codiak BioSciences, Inc., a company at the forefront of advancing engineered exosomes as a new class of biologic medicines, announced that it has entered into two strategic collaborations with the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), MIT, and Harvard to investigate the potential of its exoVACC vaccine platform in (1) SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and in (2) human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). As part of the sponsored collaboration research agreements, Codiak researchers will work with Bruce Walker, MD, and Gaurav Gaiha, MD, DPhil, of the Ragon Institute to build integrated exosome-based vaccines aimed at inducing broad neutralizing antibody and antigen-specific T cell protection against the viruses. “Drs. Walker and Gaiha are luminaries in antiviral vaccine research. We are honored to collaborate to combine exoVACC with their T cell antigen prediction algorithm and biological assays in an attempt to tackle some of society’s most pressing diseases,” said Douglas E. Williams, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Codiak BioSciences. “ExoVACC allows us to deliver multiple complex antigens and adjuvants, activating the key arms of the immune system to produce comprehensive immunity against the virus, similar to patients who recover from the infection. Specifically, the ability to target immune responses to the lung and other mucosal surfaces where infection occurs could represent an advance in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 and future SARS coronaviruses.” exoVACC is Codiak’s proprietary and modular vaccine system that utilizes the unique properties of exosomes to deliver antigens and adjuvants simultaneously and selectively to the same antigen-presenting cells (APCs), driving an integrated innate, cellular, and antibody-mediated immune response.
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