By David N. Leff

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

Announcements of the following nine licensing opportunities were submitted last week for publication in the Federal Register.

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

National Cancer Institute

Test Of HIV-Infected Person's Progress To AIDS

Ability to predict whether an HIV-positive, non-symptomatic individual is a progressor or a non-progressor to AIDS would help in choosing an appropriate course of therapy and monitoring effects of drugs on patients' immune systems.

Invention relates CD3+CD4 cell number increases to non-progressors and decreases to progressors as basis for automated commercial test.

OTT Ref. # E-061-96/0

Inventors: Zella, D., et al.

Contact: George Keller, 301-496-7735 ext. 246

Retroviral Vectors With Broader Host Range

These recombinant avian retroviral vectors can infect a wider range of hosts at higher titers than current Rous sarcoma viruses, while remaining defective in mammalian cells. Technology useful for in vitro and in vivo delivery of DNA to avian or mammalian cells, and to treat or prevent diseases involving transfer by recombinant retroviral vectors.

Application: 08/445,462

Filed: 5/22/95

Inventors: Barsov, E., et al.

Contact: Larry Tiffany, (301) 496-7735 ext. 206

Improved Liposomal Delivery of Nucleic Acids

These liposome-encapsulated nucleic acids have enhanced efficiency in transducing cells in cell cultures, are protected from enzymatic attack, and can circulate longer in blood after administration.

Application: 08/522,246

Filed: 9/4/95

Inventor. Thierry, A. R.

Contact: Larry Tiffany, (301) 496-7735 ext. 206

Invaginated Liposome Delivery System

High-efficiency cationic liposomes for 150-fold increased delivery of bioactive agents, compared with previous liposomal carriers. Useful for systemic or site-specific delivery and expression of nucleic acid products, as in human gene therapy.

Application: 60/024,386

Filed: 8/19/96

Inventors: Smyth-Templeton, N., et al.

Contact: Larry Tiffany, (301) 496-7735 ext. 206

Uses Of New Tumor Gene Sequences

Mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) aids identification of mammalian tumor genes. Here a sixth integration locus, the Int.6 gene, offers a series of reagents derived from MMTV's DNA and amino-acid sequences, for use in diagnostics, immunotherapy, gene therapy and vaccines.

OTT Ref. Nos. E-265-94/0 and 94/1

Inventors: Callahan, R., et al.

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

National Human Genome Research Institute

Endocrine Cancer Gene With Therapeutic Potential

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is a familial cancer syndrome marked by tumors in many glands and tissues. Invention provides a MEN1 gene, which when mutated provokes the disease. Potential applications include diagnostics by immunoassay and hybridization, as well as gene therapy.

OTT Ref. Nos. E-094-97/0

Filed: 3/5/97

Inventors: Chandrasekharappa, S. C., et al.

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

Knockout Mice Model Human Psychiatric Disorders

Mice lacking the Dv11 gene — a murine homolog of the fruit fly Dishevelled gene — show that Dv11 has a role in complex mammalian behaviors. They exhibit reduced social interaction and striking abnormalities in sensorimotor gating.

Hence, these Dv11-deficient mice may serve as genetic animal models for several human psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, Huntington's disease and Tourette syndrome, as well as for screening psychoactive drugs.

OTT Ref. # E-100-97/0

Inventor: Wynshaw-Boris, A. J., et al.

Contact: David Sadowski, (301) 496-7735 ext. 288*

Semliki Virus System Expands Gene Therapy Cargo Space

Transfer of large or complex genomic elements in retroviral vectors is virtually impossible. Invention uses Semliki Forest virus to produce recombinant retroviral RNA in a packaging cell. The in vitro transcribed RNA vector then transduces the packaging cells into infectious viral particles.

System permits transfer of large viral DNA fragments or complex gene structures via retroviral vectors, for gene therapy of infectious (e.g., HIV) or noninfectious (e.g., cancer; birth defects) diseases.

OTT Ref. # E-135-96-0

Filed: 9/25/96

Inventors: Morgan, R., et al.

Contact: Larry Tiffany, (301) 496-7735 ext. 206

Transgenic and Chimeric Viral Vectors

Invention provides for production of viral vectors (secondary viruses), whose genome is enclosed within another virus with a different life cycle (primary virus). Thus, secondary viral vectors with identical genomes can be produced in retroviral vector packaging cells containing different envelope-targeting components.

Advantages include lessening chances of immune rejection and complement lysis of the vectors, permitting use of vector producer cells from same species as that being treated by gene therapy.

OTT Ref. # E-011-97-0

Filed: 4/11/97

Inventors: Ramsey, W. J., et al.

Contact: Larry Tiffany, (301) 496-7735 ext. 206

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