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Applied DNA, Takis Biotech Partner To Design COVID-19 Vaccines For Animal Testing

Shanthi Rexaline

Applied DNA Sciences Inc (NASDAQ: APDN) shares gapped higher Monday after the DNA manufacturing company announced an update to its COVID-19 vaccine development partnership.

Applied DNA said it is partnering with Takis Biotech, a company developing cancer vaccines, for the design of four DNA vaccine candidates using Applied DNA's proprietary polymerase chain reaction-based DNA manufacturing systems.

The companies had announced in early February an expanded joint development agreement between LineaRx, an Applied DNA subsidiary, and Takis to include preclinical development of a PCR-produced LinearDNA vaccine against COVID-19.

Applied DNA said it expects Takis to deliver four preclinical vaccine candidates this month and plans to scale up PCR-based production of each vaccine candidate and ship them to Takis. 

Takis will then determine each vaccine's relative abilities to provoke an immune response in vaccinated mice.

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"Our patented and proprietary platform for the production of LinearDNA not only empowers rapid development and large-scale production, but we believe it has the potential to yield an effective vaccine with fewer risks than other currently utilized DNA production platforms," Applied DNA CEO Dr. James Hayward said in a statement. 

Reliable effective technologies that can be quickly adapted to shifting pathogens are needed to create antibodies to neutralize the coronavirus, said Takis CEO Dr. Luigi Aurisicchio. 

"We believe that is the advantage that Applied DNA's platform affords us over traditional vaccine development and other modern DNA-based vaccines." 

Applied DNA shares were rallying by 25.56% to $5.01 at the time of publication Monday. 

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