As the first Americans receive COVID-19 vaccinations this week developed by big pharmaceutical companies, hundreds of startups focused on vaccines, testing kits and other COVID-19 products are riding the momentum–eager to get their own products to market in the next year.
“At first, no one knew how to address the health pandemic, but now it is all hands on deck for the 170 or so drug candidates out there,” said Jeffrey Fu, Codagenix’s chief business officer, in an interview with Crunchbase News. “Codagenix felt like its platform could add value for society, especially for SARS-CoV-2, and we feel differentiated from other candidates.”
New York-based Codagenix is working with Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. to develop a single-dose intranasal, live vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. It has raised $26.8 million in venture-backed funding, according to Crunchbase data, and its phase one clinical trial received regulatory approval this month from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to commence in London.
Codagenix will need to complete further trials before it can go to market. Currently, nearly 16.5 million cases of COVID-19 and just over 300,000 deaths were reported in the U.S. On Dec. 11, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech approval for its two-dose vaccine, and Pfizer celebrated its first shipments of the vaccine. It’s expected that biotech company Moderna Therapeutics’ version will be next.