15 February 2020 – Takis is the only Italian company listed in the WHO Covid-19 vaccines roadmap

A WHO (World Health Organization) meeting took place on 11-12 February to map out companies and academic groups that have announced Covid-19 development programs.

Takis is the only Italian company and among the few European ones on the WHO roadmap. Most of the other companies and research groups in the list are from China and U.S.

On the 27th of January we have announced our commitment for the development of innovative genetic vaccines against the Chinese Coronavirus. On the 7th of February we signed an agreement with the U.S. company Applied DNA Sciences. We are currently working together on our vaccine program.

Very proud to represent Italian research in the race for the Coronavirus vaccine!

Look at the list: COVID-19 vaccine development programs

15 February 2020 – Watch Takis on the Italian news TGR Officina Italia

The Italian TV programme TGR Officina Italia has dedicated a television report about Takis and our research activities to develop a vaccine against Covd-19. We announced our commitment as soon as the genetic sequences of the new Coronavirus became accessible and we have currently 10 researchers of ours working on various aspects of vaccine development.

Luigi Aurisicchio, CEO of Takis and Evvivax, and Emanuele Marra, Director of Infective Diseases Area at Takis, described our genetic vaccination approach and estimated at least one year time for the vaccine to be used in humans.

They also described Takis other research activities in the field of precision oncology and monoclonal antibody production and mentioned our team of young and talented researchers. Proud for that!

Enjoy watching the interview: TGR Officina Itakia – Alla ricerca del vaccino


12 February 2020 - TAKIS has applied to European funding initiative to develop a Vaccine and Therapeutics against COVID-19

12 February 2020 . Takis has applied to the European Call: “Advancing knowledge for the clinical and public health response to the 2019-nCoV epidemic” with the project

EUIMMUnCoV: The European Immunotherapy Platform against 2019-nCoV”.

EUIMMUnCoV project aims at developing novel and effective gene-based vaccines that activate the immune response against 2019-nCoV by means of innovative genetic strategies based on gene engineering and a multi-purpose and efficient device based on the mechanism of in vivo electroporation mediated gene transfer (EGT) which is already present in the hospitals of most European Countries. The same technology will be used to generate diagnostic and therapeutic antibodies able to block 2019-nCoV replication and propagation. Very importantly, EUIMMUnCoV will characterize host immune response against the virus, thus generating new knowledge important to identify new biomarkers.

If funded, Takis will coordinate a consortium made of 5 public/private partners:

  • IGEA (Italy)
  • Meditox (Czeck Republic)
  • National Institute for Infectious Diseases (INMI) Spallanzani (Italy)
  • Medical University of Vienna (Austria)
  • Immunitrack (Denmark)

More information: Advancing knowledge for the clinical and public health response to the 2019-nCoV epidemic

9 February 2020 – Takis vaccine against 2019-nCov Coronavirus mentioned on Italian TV channel RAI 3

Emanuele Marra, Director of infectious diseases area and Fabio Palombo, Director of Immunology and Vaccine area at Takis appeared on the Italian TV programme “Mezz’ora in più” by Lucia Annunziata.

They described Takis and Evvivax research to develop a genetic vaccine against 2019-nCov Coronavirus delivered by our DNA-electroporation platform. As soon as the genetic sequences of the new Coronavirus became available, our researchers started to work on the vaccine. They were able to design a genetic vector in few days that is now going to be tested in rodents and then in humans.

Watch the full interview: Mezz’ora in più – Coronavirus la corsa contro il tempo


7 February 2020 - Takis, LineaRX and Applied DNA Science collaborate for Development of a Linear DNA Vaccine Candidate Against Wuhan Coronavirus 2019-nCoV

7 February 2020 - Applied DNA Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: APDN) (“Applied DNA” or the “Company”) a leader in Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based DNA manufacturing for product authenticity, traceability solutions, nucleic acid-based biotherapeutic development, and liquid biopsies for cancer diagnostics, announced today and in a late-day Investor Call yesterday, that it has expanded its existing Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Takis Biotech to include the preclinical development of a linear DNA vaccine against 2019-nCoV, the new coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, infecting more than 28,000 and killing hundreds in just weeks. The advantages posed by PCR-produced linear DNA for this challenge include the speed of production, the absence of antibiotics and their resistance genes, the purity of the DNA, the simplicity of design, the powerful immunogenicity proved in a prior linear DNA vaccine, the absence of any bacterial contaminants and the fact that the vaccine gene is effective without insertion into the patient’s genome.

The virus expanded its hosts to humans and has been declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) and by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). LineaRx, Inc. (“LineaRx”) is the majority-owned subsidiary of Applied DNA focused on the therapeutic and diagnostic applications of the Company’s large-scale PCR platform that is protected by multiple issued and pending patents.

“We have a patented and proprietary platform for the production of linear DNA that empowers rapid development and large-scale production that we believe will yield a safe and effective vaccine with fewer risks than other DNA production platforms,” said Dr. James Hayward, president and CEO of both Applied DNA and LineaRx. “As is typical for RNA viruses, coronaviruses mutate at rapid rates that require constant surveillance.  We believe that one of the many benefits of PCR-produced linear DNA is the rapidity at which a putative vaccine can be revised to accommodate mutational drift.”

Dr. Luigi Aurisicchio, CEO/CSO of Takis, stated, “Our collaboration under the JDA on genetic technologies has already shown the ability to induce powerful immune responses in animal models using linear DNA.  To induce antibodies that can neutralize 2019-nCoV, it is essential to use reliable, effective technologies, that can be quickly adapted in the face of shifting pathogens. This global emergency requires a swift response.”

The companies are also developing a cancer vaccine that has shown rapid tumor clearance in test animals as reported this last September. Clinical trials using the linear DNA form of the cancer vaccine in companion animals are being planned. The Company has also participated in collaborative submissions for competitive contracts to develop related genetic countermeasures to protect American warfighters.

The collaborating teams have already begun the design and optimization of a synthetic gene that when delivered to muscles, should enable the temporary production of a designed antigen that could provoke an immune response against the virus. We expect to have linear DNA ready for testing within the next 60 to 90 days. Once the optimized gene is assembled, the Company will produce quantities of the linear DNA prototype vaccine at large scale for tests in mice. Prior evidence indicates that genes made of linear DNA reside only temporarily within the muscle cell nucleus, long enough to provoke an immune response, and is eventually cleared without genomic integration.