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Novel Regulatory B cells for Treatment of Cancer and Autoimmune Disease

Cancer cells have been found to directly activate resting B cells to form suppressive regulatory B cells (tBregs) and utilize them to evade immune surveillance and mediate metastasis. tBregs directly inhibit CD4+ and CD8+ T cell activity in a cell contact-dependent manner, induce FoxP3+ T cell activity, and promote Treg-dependent metastasis. The National Institute on Aging's Immunotherapeutics Unit, is seeking parties interested in licensing or co-development of regulatory B cells to control autoimmune diseases and strategies that inactivate tBregs to control cancer immune escape. 

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.

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.

Use of Interleukin (IL)-34 to Treat Retinal Inflammation and Neurodegeneration

Researchers at the National Eye Institute have developed a new cytokine therapy that delivers functional interleukin 34 (IL-34) to the retina for treating ocular inflammatory diseases – such as uveitis and degenerative retinal diseases. Intraocular delivery of IL-34 protein or IL-34 gene expression system can effectively prevent retinal inflammation. Thus, it may be a promising strategy to produce long-lasting effects in suppressing abnormal retinal inflammation and preventing photoreceptor death.

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.

Use of the TP5 Peptide for the Treatment of Cancer

Increased cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (CDK5) activity has recently emerged as a contributor to cancer progression. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) have shown that TP5, a small peptide inhibitor of CDK5 modified to facilitate passage through the blood brain barrier (BBB), has potential therapeutic benefit in glioblastoma (GBM) and colorectal carcinoma (CRC). NCI is seeking parties interested in co-developing and/or licensing TP5 for its use in the treatment of cancers with aberrant CDK5 expression as a mono-therapy or in an adjuvant setting with current standard-of-care.

Autophagy Modulators For Use in Treating Cancer

Investigators from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) have identified five autophagy-inhibiting compounds (WX8 family) through a high-throughput screening. The NICHD seeks licensees and/or co-development partners for methods to treat cancer by administering these autophagy-inhibiting compounds.

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.

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.

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