Farmingdale biotech firm at the forefront of worldwide race of coronavirus vaccine

Farmingdale biotech firm Codagenix says it has hit a speed bump, but that bump has launched the group to the forefront of the worldwide race for a vaccine.

News 12 Staff

Mar 2, 2020, 10:42 PM

Updated 1,539 days ago

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Scientists around the world are racing to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus -- including a company on Long Island.
Farmingdale biotech firm Codagenix says it has hit a speed bump, but that bump has launched the group to the forefront of the worldwide race for a vaccine. That's because the firm has found a way to slow down the virus' frantic pace of replicating.
"The coronavirus is like a Ferrari with a Ferrari engine, it comes in and makes a million copies of itself really quickly," says Dr. Robert J. Coleman. "What we do is insert a VW or a Pinto engine."
PHOTOS: The impact of coronavirus around the world
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The scientific stitching is done with synthetic DNA, not the live virus. Once several promising combinations are put together with multiple speed bumps inserted, the code is then brought to a biohazard lab in Chicago where live coronavirus DNA will be altered and then tested on animals.
"You can think of these pieces of DNA as lego blocks, and then we stitch it together to fine the perfect vaccine," says Dr. Steffen Mueller.
Codagenix has partnered with Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, and believes it will be able to make and distribute hundreds of millions of doses.
"Everyone wants to know how fast we can move - we are shooting to try and be in people by the end of April, May, it could take longer - but we are trying to move as quickly as we possible can," says Dr. J. Robert Coleman
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