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Improved HIV Vaccines Through Ras Activation

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Vaccine Branch, seeks research co-development or licenses for a novel method of improving HIV vaccine efficacy by activating Ras signaling. Upregulating the Ras pathway can improve an HIV patient’s immune response to anti-retroviral vaccines.

Griffithsin-Based Anti-viral Therapeutics with Improved Stability and Solubility

Scientists at the National Cancer Institute's Molecular Targets Laboratory have modified the Cnidarin-derived griffithsin compound to have greater storage time and stability. Griffithsin compounds are a class of highly potent proteins capable of blocking the HIV virus from penetrating T cells. The National Cancer Institute seeks parties interested in collaborative research to license or co-develop large-scale recombinant production of the compound.

Targeted RNA/DNA Nanoparticles with Single Stranded RNA Toeholds

The technology is directed to the use of single-stranded RNA overhangs or toeholds of varying lengths (< 12 nucleotides) contained in nucleic acid-based nanoparticles which trigger the association of these nanoparticles and activates multiple functionalities such as gene silencing and/or cell-specific targeting. The use of RNA toeholds is superior to that of DNA toeholds in that it allows for smaller nanoparticles (fewer nucleotides for the toeholds) resulting in greater chemical stability, less immunogenic and higher yield of production. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) seeks licensing and/or co-development research collaborations for use of RNA overhangs or toeholds in nucleic acid nanoparticles.

Fusion Proteins as HIV-1 Entry Inhibitors

Novel fusion proteins with good stability and potency against HIV-1. These fusion proteins have good drug properties and potential as prophylactics or therapeutics against HIV-1 infection. Researchers at the NCI seek licensing for the development and commercialization of novel fusion proteins as therapeutics or prophylactics against HIV-1 infection.

Vaccines for HIV

The development of an effective HIV vaccine has been an ongoing area of research. The high variability in HIV-1 virus strains has represented a major challenge in successful development. Ideally, an effective candidate vaccine would provide protection against the majority of clades of HIV. Two major hurdles to overcome are immunodominance and sequence diversity. This vaccine utilizes a strategy for overcoming these two issues by identifying the conserved regions of the virus and exploiting them for use in a targeted therapy. NCI seeks licensees and/or research collaborators to commercialize this technology, which has been validated in macaque models.

Small Molecule Inhibitors of Drug Resistant Forms of HIV-1 Integrase

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute discovered small-molecule compounds containing 1-hydroxy-2-oxo-1,8-naphthyridine moieties whose activity against HIV-1 integrase mutants confer resistance to currently approved INSTIs. Preliminary rodent efficacy, metabolic, and pharmacokinetic studies have been completed by the NCI researchers. The National Cancer Institute seeks partners to commercialize this class of compounds through licensing or co-development.

Polymeric Delivery Platform for Therapeutics

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) seeks licensing and/or co-development research collaborations for a polymeric drug delivery platform that targets scavenger receptor A1 (SR-A1), a receptor highly expressed in macrophages, monocytes, mast cells, dendritic cells (myeloid lineages), and endothelial cells. The platform delivers various immunomodulatory therapeutic cargo including small molecule drugs, therapeutic peptides, and vaccines, to the lymphatic system and myeloid/antigen presenting cell (APC) sub-populations.

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.

Nucleic Acid Nanoparticles for Triggering RNA Interference

RNA interference (RNAi) is a naturally occurring cellular post-transcriptional gene regulation process that utilizes small double-stranded RNAs to trigger and guide gene silencing. By introducing synthetic RNA duplexes called small-interfering RNAs (siRNAs), we can harness the RNAi machinery for therapeutic gene control and the treatment of various diseases. The National Cancer Institute seeks partners to license or co-develop RNA, RNA-DNA, and DNA-RNA hybrid nanoparticles consisting of a DNA or RNA core with attached RNA or DNA hybrid duplexes.

Enhanced Immunogenicity Against HIV-1 Using a DNA-prime Poxvirus Vaccination

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) seek research co-development or licenses for a method of stimulating an immune response in a human at risk for infection by, or already infected with, an HIV-1 retrovirus. This method utilizes DNA vaccines to stimulate CD8+ T cell immune responses.

Peptide Inhibitors for Viral Infections and as Anti-inflammatory Agents

IFN-gamma and IL-10 are cytokine signaling molecules that play fundamental roles in inflammation, cancer growth and autoimmune diseases.  Unfortunately, there are no specific inhibitors of IFN-gamma or IL-10 on the market to date. The National Cancer Institute seeks parties interested in licensing or collaborative research to co-develop selective IL-10 and IFN-gamma peptide inhibitors.

Methods for Producing Stem Cell-Like Memory T Cells for Use in T Cell-Based Immunotherapies

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) seek research & co-development and/or licensees for a novel, ex vivo method by which stem cell-like memory T cells (Tscm) can be generated by stimulating naïve T cells in the presence of inhibitors of GSK-3beta, which are capable of activating the Wnt pathway. These Tscm cells, generated using GSK-3beta inhibitors, display enhanced survival and proliferation upon transfer, have multipotent capacity to generate all memory and effector T cell subsets, and show increased anti-tumor activity in a humanized mouse tumor model.

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.

Diagnostic Marker for Improving Treatment Outcomes of Hepatitis C

NCI Researchers have discovered Interferon-lambda 4 (IFNL4), a protein found through analysis of genomic data. Preliminary studies indicate that this protein may play a role in the clearance of HCV and may be a new target for diagnosing and treating HCV infection. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) Immunoepidemiology Branch is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in in-licensing or collaborative research to further co-develop a gene-based diagnostic for Hepatitis C virus (HepC, HCV).

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.

Virus-Like Particles That Can Deliver Proteins and RNA

The present invention describes novel virus-like particles (VLPs) that are capable of binding to and replicating within a target mammalian cell, including human cells. The claimed VLPs are safer than viral delivery because they are incapable of re-infecting target cells. The National Cancer Institute's Protein Expression Laboratory seeks parties interested in licensing the novel delivery of RNA to mammalian cells using virus-like particles.

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