BioWorld Today here continues its occasional listings of government agencies seeking industrial licensees to commercialize their biotechnology-related research and development inventions. Commercialization rights are offered by the National Institutes of Health, Office of Technology Transfer (OTT).

Announcements of the following eight licensing opportunities, plus a proposal to grant an exclusive license to Biological Mimetics, of Frederick, Maryland (see the first National Cancer Institute listing), have been submitted to the Federal Register.

To obtain licensing information and copies of the U.S. patent issuances or applications listed below, contact the OTT licensing specialists indicated.

National Cancer Institute

Immunological Masking Of Dominant Antigenic Epitopes

An immune response to an immunodominant antigenic epitope can be redirected to an alternate epitope by modifying the immunogenicity of this immunodominant epitope. By immunodampening the dominant epitope, the immune system can then react to more conserved epitopes. Immunodampening is most useful against pathogens having highly variable immunodominant epitopes, such as HIV.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is contemplating the grant of an exclusive worldwide license of this technology to Biological Mimetics, of Frederick, for commercial development. The license will be limited to the field of vaccines for the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases in humans and animals. This prospective license may be granted within 90 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register, unless written notice is received establishing that this grant would not be consistent with the appropriate statutory requirements. License applications filed in response to this notice will be treated as objections to the grant of a license to Biological Mimetics.

U.S. Patent: 5,585,250

Issued: 12/17/96

Inventors: Garrity, R., et al.

Contact: Robert Benson, (301) 496-7056, ext. 267

Toxicologic Assessment Of Small Organic Molecules

Difficult-to-solubilize mineral oil alkanes, such as pristine, can be encapsulated in cyclodextrans for delivery to cells and tissues in vitro and in vivo. These alkanes may cause several pathologic conditions, including cancers such as plasmacytomas. Therefore, this encapsulation system is usable as a risk assessment assay.

U.S. Patent: 5,321,014

Issued: 6/14/94

Inventors: Janz, S., et al.

Contact: Raphe Kantor, (301) 496-7735, ext. 247

Antibodies For Cancer Diagnosis

Thymidylate synthase antibodies are usable in an immunoassay for this enzyme. This immunoassay is more sensitive than previously used biochemical assays, thus allowing enzyme detection in small samples of heterogeneous cell populations from preserved tissues. Sensitive quantification of this enzyme can diagnose the stage of a cancer or detect certain metabolic diseases.

Application: 07/690,841

Filed: 4/24/91

Inventors: Johnston, P.G., et al.

Contact: Raphe Kantor, (301) 496-7735, ext. 247

Raf Protein Kinase Cancer Therapeutics

Normal raf protein kinases can stimulate cell growth in a variety of cells. When expressed as specifically altered forms, these enzymes can cause malignant cell growth. Mutant raf protein kinases transcribed from raf antisense DNA can inhibit the normal enzyme function, thus inhibiting malignant cell growth in cancers and other abnormal cell growth in proliferative disease such as psoriasis and restenosis.

Application: 08/207,954

Filed: 3/18/94

Inventors: Rapp, U., et al.

Contact: Ken Hemby, (301) 496-7735, ext. 265

Polyoma Virus Associated With Acute Childhood Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Epidemiologic data show an association between the frequency of reproductive-age women who are susceptible to infection by the JC human polyomavirus and the rate of B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children born to this population. Both serological and immunological methods of screening allow preventative immunization of unexposed reproductive-age women and early intervention in high-risk children.

Application: 60/036,991

Filed: 1/30/97

Inventors: Smith, M.A.

Contact: Joseph Contrera, (301) 496-7056, ext. 244

National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Disease

Inactivation Of Enveloped RNA Virus Particles

Treatment of enveloped single-stranded RNA viruses, such as respiratory syncytial virus and parainfluenza virus, with eosinophil-derived neurotoxin, a ribonuclease, inactivates RNA viruses in culture. This ribonuclease, which is not toxic to cells, can be used to treat these pathogens before parenteral or aerosol administration for the induction of immunity.

Application: 60/052,986

Filed: 7/2/97

Inventors: Rosenberg, H.F., et al.

Contact: Robert Benson, (301) 496-7056, ext. 267

National Institute of Arthritis & Musculoskeletal & Skin Diseases

Familial Mediterranean Fever Gene

Pyrin, a protein that controls inflammation, is coded for by a gene that is associated with familial Mediterranean fever, an inherited disorder characterized by inflammation, arthritis, and fever. Mutated forms of this gene, which are associated with the onset of this disease, encode a malfunctioning protein. The pyrin gene and its mutations can be used to diagnose this disease.

Application: 60/056,217

Filed: 8/21/97

Inventors: Kastner, D., et al.

Contact: Stephen Finley, (301) 496-7056, ext. 215

—Compiled by Chester A. Bisbee

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