STONY BROOK, N.Y. (November 30, 2017) — Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: APDN) is conducting an evaluation of two animal vaccines with Evvivax srl, an Italian biotech company focused on healthcare for companion animals. These pilots will be developed using the Company’s proprietary and patented large-scale PCR (polymerase chain reaction) DNA production processes and devices.
“We are seeing strong business momentum in our biopharm vertical as awareness of and interest in our proprietary processes and devices for the production of DNA using PCR methods increases, thereby offering us an additional driver of long-term and profitable growth. As our team’s sophistication, breadth of experience and recognition by leading scientists continues to mature, we are fielding pilot requests that are greater in number, financial significance and duration. Recently, we have fielded six new requests for pilot quotation for DNA therapeutics,” commented Dr. James Hayward, president and CEO of Applied DNA.
Dr. Luigi Aurisicchio, Chief Executive and Scientific Officer of Evvivax srl, stated: “We are pleased with the technical capabilities and customer service of the Applied DNA team. PCR-production of DNA offers advantages over “plasmid produced” DNA. The goal of this pilot is to quantify those advantages for use in our animal vaccines.” USDA has already approved a number of DNA-vaccines for animals.
DNA vaccines have until now, been based primarily upon “plasmid” delivery. Plasmids are small, circular, double-stranded molecules of DNA found in bacteria and yeast. These molecules have traditionally been the tools used to manufacture DNA. However, a plasmid-based technology for gene therapy suffers from a number of drawbacks that include: a) the active DNA only represents about 30-50% of the plasmid, b) the remaining 50-70% of the plasmid contains multiple genetic components unrelated to the DNA vaccine that may have unintended consequences in humans, c) the plasmid-containing bacteria must be grown in very large vessels, over many days, to yield DNA supplies adequate for vaccines, d) the bacteria used to produce the plasmids contain toxins and pyrogens, that can cause illness and fevers if present in the DNA preparation that is given to a patient.