Team Seeks Measures Against HLB

Ernie Neff HLB Management, Research


Codex DNA, Inc. has announced a collaboration with researchers from several organizations to identify scalable therapeutic measures against HLB. The multidisciplinary team has been awarded a grant worth nearly $15 million from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to develop cost-effective and sustainable solutions to the disease.

Other collaborators include the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Cornell University, the University of Florida, the University of California at Riverside and AgroSource, Inc. Codex DNA said it will receive up to $3 million as a sub-awardee to leverage and expand its synthetic biology portfolio for agricultural biotechnology applications.

The NIFA grant connects researchers across disciplines including molecular and cellular biology, synthetic biology, plant physiology, pest-transmitted disease interactions and agricultural engineering.

Robert Shatters with the USDA/ARS, principal investigator on the NIFA grant, called Codex DNA “a leader in the synthetic biology field.” The company will use its automated benchtop system to rapidly generate synthetic DNA capable of delivering therapeutic molecules to plants.

“We are grateful to NIFA for this funding and to the rest of our collaborators for envisioning such a compelling project,” said Todd R. Nelson, CEO of Codex DNA. “This project aligns perfectly with our company’s goal of enabling the development of sustainable, synthetic biology-based solutions to address the biggest challenges we face today. We are looking forward to working with this team of scientists to help protect our citrus plants and secure our food supply.”

Codex DNA will also build on its expertise in developing a scalable therapeutic molecule discovery and production platform that enables rapid and cost-effective screening and identification of biomolecules that could be effective against HLB. Codex DNA plans to make the system broadly accessible for researchers interested in the identification of treatment candidates for other plant, animal and human diseases.

Codex DNA is a public company based in San Diego.

Source: Codex DNA, Inc.

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