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Use of Cucurbitacins and Withanolides for the Treatment of Cancer

The National Cancer Institute's Laboratory of Experimental Immunology, Cancer Inflammation Program, seeks parties interested in collaborative research to co-develop, evaluate, or commercialize the use of certain cucurbatacins or withanolides in combination with pro-apoptotic agonists of TRAIL death receptors for cancer therapy.

Gene-based Diagnostic Predicts Patient Response to Cancer Immunotherapy

Somatic mutations can alter the sensitivity of tumors to T-cell mediated immunotherapy. Identifying genes that positively regulate the sensitivity of cancer cells to T-cell mediated clearance is key for effective treatment in cancer patients. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have identified a panel of genes which are useful in predicting a patient’s response to immunotherapy. NCI seeks partners to co-develop or license the technology toward commercialization.

Methods of Producing Thymic Emigrants from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Pluripotent stem cells are a promising source of T cells for a variety of clinical applications. However, current in vitro methods of T cell differentiation result in the generation of cells with aberrant phenotypes. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have now developed methodology for generating induced pluripotent stem cell thymic emigrants (iTE). Antigen-specific CD8αβ+ iTEs exhibited functional properties in vitro that were almost indistinguishable from natural naïve CD8αβ+ T cells, including vigorous expansion and robust anti-tumor activity. iTEs recapitulated many of the transcriptional programs of naïve T cells in vivo and revealed a striking capacity for engraftment, memory formation, and efficient tumor destruction. The NCI seeks licensing and/or co-development research collaborations for this invention.

Chimeric Adaptor Proteins (CAPs) Containing a Linker for Activation of T Cells (LAT) and a Kinase Domain for Use in T Cell-Based Immunotherapy

There remains a need for effective immunotherapies to treat solid tumors as well as hematological malignancies. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have designed novel chimeric adaptor proteins (CAPs) consisting of signaling molecules downstream of the T cell receptor (TCR) for use in T cell-mediated immunotherapy. NCI is seeking parties interested in licensing and/or co-developing CAPs that can be used in immunotherapy for treating cancer, including both hematological and solid malignancies.

Genetically Modified Hematopoietic Stem And Progenitor Cells (HSPCs) And Mesenchymal Cells As A Platform To Reduce Or Prevent Metastasis, Treat Autoimmune And Inflammatory Disorders, And Rebalance The Immune Milieu And Dysregulated Niches

There is a marked increase in immunosuppressive myeloid progenitors and myeloid cells in tumors and at metastatic tissue sites, rendering these types of cells useful in cancer therapeutics – especially after genetic modifications to improve their anti-tumor properties. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) seeks research co-development or licensing for genetically engineered myeloid cells (GEMys) for use in cancer immunotherapy.

In vitro Generation of an Autologous Thymic Organoid from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

The thymus is the only organ capable of producing conventional, mature T cells; a crucial part of the adaptive immune system. However, its efficiency and function are progressively reduced as we age, leading to a compromised immune system in the elderly. Moreover, production of T cells with specific receptors is an important concern for cancer immunotherapy. Current in vitro methods produce immature T cells that are not useful for therapy. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have generated an autologous thymic organoid from human pluripotent stem cells to address this problem. The organoid can be used to develop clinical applications such as production of autologous T and natural killer T (NKT) cells and reconstitution of the adaptive immune system. NCI is seeking licensees for the thymic organoid and the method of its generation to be used in a variety of clinical applications.

Efficient Methods to Prepare Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells in vitro for Therapeutic Use

Multi-potential hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPC) can differentiate into any class of blood cells, and are highly useful in regenerative medicine, immunology, and cancer immunotherapy. Current methods to generate HPCs are limited either due to the use of animal products, or the high cost and low efficiency of animal product free systems. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have developed a protocol to prepare HPCs from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC), using human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) in a three-dimensional (3D) co-culture condition. Thus, they are able to generate HPCs in a fully human, autologous system, which can be used to further generate immune cells for therapy. This protocol is adaptable to mass production by bioreactors. NCI seeks licensees for these methods of generating HPCs in a 3D co-culture with hMSCs to be used in a variety of applications such as treatment of blood disorders, regenerative medicine, and antibody production.

Design and Biological Activity of Novel Stealth Polymeric Lipid Nanoparticles for Enhanced Delivery of Hydrophobic Photodynamic Therapy Drugs

Scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) developed a novel stealth lipid-based nanoparticle formulation comprising phospholipid, DC8,9PC and a polyethylene glycol-ated (PEGylated) lipid – such as DSPE-PEG2000 – that efficiently package a high amounts of hydrophobic photodynamic drug (PDT) – such as HPPH – in stable vesicles. This HPPH-loaded liposome system demonstrates higher serum stability and ambient temperature stability upon storage. It exhibits increased tumor accumulation and improved animal survival in mice tumor models compared to the formulation in current clinical trials. The NCI seeks co-development partners and/or corporate licensees for the application of the technology as an anti-cancer therapeutic.

Molecular Classification of Primary Mediastinal Large B Cell Lymphoma Using Formalin-Fixed, Paraffin-Embedded Tissue Specimens

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have developed a gene-expression profiling-based molecular diagnostic assay to diagnose and classify primary mediastinal large B cell lymphoma (PMBCL) from diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The diagnosis can be done using routinely available formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) biopsies. The NCI seeks licensees and/or co-development partners to commercialize this technology.

A Viral Exposure Signature to Define and Detect Early Onset Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) identified a biomarker signature of viral infection that correlates with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) incidence in at-risk individuals. It has been validated in a longitudinal cohort to detect HCC with high sensitivity and specificity up to 7 years prior to clinical diagnosis. This viral exposure signature can be easily implemented into diagnostic assays for screening of HCC and is available for licensing and/or co-development opportunities.

A Novel Genetically Encoded Inhibitor of Hippo Signaling Pathway to Study YAP1/TAZ-TEAD Dependent Events in Cancer

The Hippo signaling pathway is one of the most frequently altered pathways in human cancer. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have developed a genetically encoded peptide inhibitor of the Hippo signaling pathway members YAP1/TAZ-TEAD, to dissect and study the specific TEAD-downstream regulatory gene expression networks of cell proliferation, tissue homeostasis, and stem cell functions in different cell types and pathologies. The DNA construct encoding this inhibitor may be delivered to cells using lentivirus, adenovirus, or adeno-associated virus, and is a valuable research tool. NCI seeks licensees for this peptide inhibitor and the encoding DNA construct.

Peptide Hydrogels for Rate-Controlled Delivery of Therapeutics

Scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have developed a novel delivery platform in which the scaffold of an anionic hydrogel (AcVES3) can be attenuated to deliver therapeutic small molecules, peptides, proteins, nanoparticles, or whole cells. The NCI seeks collaborators and licensees for the development of this technology in various clinical and laboratory applications.

Aryl Hydantoin Heterocycle Compounds that Target the Androgen Receptor for Prostate Cancer Treatment

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have developed aryl hydantoin heterocycles that target the androgen receptor (AR). NCI seeks research co-development partners and/or licensees to develop these compounds as therapeutics for prostate cancer. As these compounds consist of both AR agonists and antagonists, they may also be effective therapeutics for androgen dysfunctional disorders, such as androgen deficiency disorders or hyperandrogenism.

High Affinity Nanobodies Targeting B7-H3 (CD276) for Treating Solid Tumors

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have isolated a panel of anti-CD276 (also called B7-H3) single domain antibodies (also known as nanobodies). These antibodies have a high affinity for CD276-positive tumor cells and have great potential for diagnostic and therapeutic technologies against solid tumors. The NCI seeks licensing and/or co-development research collaborations for CD276-targeting camel nanobodies.

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