- The stock price of Codiak BioSciences Inc (NASDAQ: CDAK) increased by over 8% during intraday trading today. This is why it happened.
The stock price of Codiak BioSciences Inc (NASDAQ: CDAK) – a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on pioneering the development of exosome-based therapeutics as a new class of medicines – increased by over 8% during intraday trading today. Investors are responding positively to Codiak BioSciences announcing new preclinical data from its exoVACC exosome-based vaccine platform.
The data describe for the first time the potential of Codiak’s novel vaccine candidate for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) to generate a comprehensive immune response conferring both antibody and T cell-mediated immunity. And the study reported the generation of a neutralizing antibody response that showed evidence of activity against multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants. Plus the ability of exoVACC to generate antigen-specific T cell responses against structurally conserved regions of multiple coronavirus variants provides evidence of a broad immune response to the candidate. These results are being presented today at the World Vaccine & Immunotherapy Congress (WVIC) 2021 in San Diego.
Codiak’s proprietary and modular vaccine system platform utilizes 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 simultaneously and selectively to antigen-presenting cells to maximize immune response. And the pancoronavirus 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. And this design closely resembles the natural viral structures and these engineered exosomes stimulated a broad immune response comprising both antibody and T cell-mediated immunity.
The data presented at WVIC show that an exosome carrying the SARS-CoV-2 RBD induced an antibody response in mice that was 100-fold greater than recombinant (or “free” RBD), highlighting the advantage of the exosome surface display. And when a STING agonist was added to the exosome to function as an adjuvant, the antibody response observed in preclinical studies was further enhanced and comparable to that of human subjects vaccinated twice with an mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. This vaccine construct with the STING agonist adjuvant also provided neutralizing antibody responses that were effective in a pseudotype virus-neutralizing in vitro assay in blocking multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the Wuhan strain, Beta and Delta variants.
Plus Codiak – in collaboration with Gaurav Gahia, M.D., principal investigator at the Ragon Institute – identified multiple T cell epitopes that are highly conserved and invariant across all Beta coronaviruses including the known SARS-CoV-2 variants and the recently identified Omicron variant. And together, the collaboration has engineered an exosome that expresses these T cell epitopes in the lumen. The luminal expression of these highly conserved T cell epitopes promoted the development of antigen-specific T cell responses, further augmenting the immune response against SARS-CoV-2 in a preclinical model.
“Our goal is to advance a pancoronavirus vaccine candidate that has the potential to be broadly protective against infection with SARS-CoV-2, CoV-2 variants, and other novel beta coronavirus family members. We believe Codiak’s exosome engineering platform will allow us to engineer antigens to elicit T cell and antibody responses against this virus family to generate immunity.”
— Douglas E. Williams, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Codiak
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