By Chester A. Bisbee
Special To BioWorld Today
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 CRADA (Cooperative Research and Development Agreement) partnership and 12 licensing opportunities have been submitted recently to the Federal Register.
To obtain CRADA or licensing information, and copies of the U.S. patent issuances or applications listed below, contact the OTT licensing specialists indicated.
National Cancer Institute
CD40 Reagents For Cancer Treatment
The National Institutes of Health, and Immunex Corp., of Seattle, have jointly developed ligands for, and monoclonal antibodies to CD40, a receptor present on B lymphocytes and other cells. These reagents can modulate CD40 receptor function. This receptor plays a crucial stimulatory role in normal B cell development. Because signals that activate normal cells can cause activation-induced cell death in cancers, these reagents can prevent or treat cancers that have CD40 receptors on their surfaces.
Inventors: Armitage, R.J., (Immunex) et al.
Contact: Joseph Contrera, (301) 496-7056, ext. 244
Large DNA Sequencing Projects Completed Faster
A unique sequence oligonucleotide not found in the human genome is ligated onto restriction fragments from large segments of DNA. Using a specific primer, the DNA is amplified via PCR and sequenced without additional cloning steps being necessary. Unlike current methods that require relatively large amounts of DNA, and two to three months of sequencing work, this method allows a much smaller amount of a 10-kilobase DNA fragment to be sequenced in two to three weeks.
Inventors: Hagiwara, K., et al.
Contact: Leopold J. Luberecki, (301) 496-7735, ext. 223
HIV Therapeutics Assayed With Nucleocapsid Protein Zinc Fingers
Compounds that disrupt the CCHC zinc finger domains of retroviral nucleocapsid proteins inhibit infectivity. Assays using these protein domains to identify these antiviral compounds are useful as screens for therapeutics for the treatment of infection by HIV and other retroviruses.
Inventors: Henderson, L., et al.
Contact: Cindy K. Fuchs, (301) 496-7735, ext. 232
Hepatitis B Core Antigen As Tumor Vaccines
Hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) elicits a strong antigenic response that can be used to enhance the immune response against weakly antigenic peptides that are fused to HBcAg. Fusion proteins containing H-ras or human epithelial cell mucin peptides induce protective anti-tumor immunity that is greater than that of these peptides alone. Thus, HBcAg fusion proteins can potentially be used as vaccines against a wide variety of cancers.
Inventors: Kwak, L.W., et al.
Contact: Joseph Contrera, (301) 496-7056, ext. 244
Nucleoside Analogs As Antiviral Agents
Conformationally locked nucleoside analogs cause inhibition of viral genome replication. These compounds inhibit HIV, herpes, and Epstein-Barr virus replication in vitro. The thymidine analog shows better anti-herpes activity than acyclovir in a plaque reduction assay.
Inventors: Marquez, V.E., et al.
Contact: Robert Benson, (301) 496-7056, ext. 267
Recombinant Laminin Receptors As Tumor Metastases Inhibitors
The gene encoding high-affinity receptors for laminin, a glycoprotein component of basement membranes, is available as a cDNA. Recombinant receptors produced from this cDNA can be used in diagnostic methods and as therapeutics that inhibit tumor metastases.
U.S. Patent: 4,861,710
Inventors: Sobel, M.E., et al.
Contact: Raphe Kantor, (301) 496-7735, ext. 247
Non-IL-2 T-Cell Growth Factors As Immunotherapeutics
Interleukin (IL)-T and its respective non-IL-2 T-cell growth factor and antibodies have been isolated in substantially pure form. Abnormalities of interleukin and interleukin receptor systems characterize a number immune system disorders and cancer, thus making these compounds potentially useful treatments for these diseases.
Inventors: Waldmann, T.A., et al.
Contact: Jaconda Wagner, (301) 496-7735, ext. 284
National Institute On Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism
5HT7 Serotonin Receptor Mutation Screen For Neurologic Drugs
A rare nonconservative mutation in the third cytoplasmic loop of the 5HT7 serotonin receptor has been identified. This mutation may alter the three-dimensional structure and binding affinity of the receptor. Because this receptor exhibits high affinity for several antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs, this mutein may be useful in screening for ligands that may prevent and treat these mental illnesses.
Inventors: Pesonen, U., et al.
Contact: Stephen Finley, (301) 496-7735, ext. 215
National Institute Of Allergy & Infectious Diseases
Vaccines For Dengue And Encephalitis
NIAID intends to exclusively license the use of recombinant viruses that encode C-terminally truncated flavivirus envelope proteins as vaccines. This technology encompasses recombinant DNA vaccines in the form of baculovirus vectors that have genes encoding dengue and Japanese B encephalitis virus proteins as well as infected cells. It does not include live or killed viruses or the use of vaccinia virus as a vector.
U.S. Patent: 5,494,671
Inventors: Lai, C.J., et al.
Contact: Gloria H. Richmond, (301) 496-7057, ext. 268
National Institute Of Child Health & Human Disease
Progesterone Antagonists As Postcoital Contraceptives
Twenty-one substituted analogs of a progesterone derivative named CDB-2914 exhibit greater antiprogestational and reduced antiglucocorticoid activity than the parent compound. Thus, these compounds have substantial clinical potential as contraceptive agents and as therapeutics in gynecologic medicine. This technology is available for exclusive or non-exclusive licensing or a CRADA partnership. While the partner may pursue development for the widest clinical applications, NICHHD collaboration will be limited to postcoital contraceptive development. Abortifacient development will be prohibited. The NICHHD seeks partners to evaluate the properties of these compounds, study their differences from mifepristone (RU 38486), and undertake human clinical studies of safety and efficacy. There is no deadline by which license applications must be received. CRADA proposals must be received on or before 90 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register.
Inventors: Kim, H.K., et al.
For Proposals: Diana Blithe, (301) 496-1661
For Licensing: Carol Lavrich, (301) 496-7735, ext. 287
Cancer Therapy With p300/CBP-Associated Transcriptional Co-Factor
The p300/CBP gene family-associated transcriptional co-factor competes with E1A, the adenoviral oncoprotein, for binding to cellular targets. E1A induces cell transformation by binding to the products of this gene family. Thus, this transcriptional co-factor can be used for screening ligands that inhibit tumorigenesis.
Inventors: Nakatani, Y., et al.
Contact: Ken Hemby, (301) 496-7735, ext. 265
Antibodies For Prion Disease Assays
Monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies have been generated to the 30- and 33-kiloDalton isoforms of 14-3-3 proteins. These antibodies can be used in basic research studies of prion diseases as well as in the development of assays for bovine spongiform encephalopathy and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease.
OTT Reference: E-054-97 & E-055-97
Inventors: Namboodiri, D., et al.
Contact: George Keller, (301) 496-7735, ext. 246
National Institute Of Neurological Disorders
Immunotoxin For Treating Focal Muscle Spasms
A monoclonal antibody to skeletal muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptor has been covalently linked to the * and ß chains of ricin toxin. This immunotoxin is more effective and longer lasting at lower doses than botulinum toxin (BTX) in treating focal muscle spasms. It may be especially useful in clinical applications when used in combination with BTX or in those patients who have become refractory to BTX treatment.
Inventors: Hott, J., et al.
Contact: Stephen Finley, (301) 496-7735, ext. 215 *