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Analogues of Withanolide E Sensitize Cancer Cells Toward Apoptosis

There is a need to develop compounds that can sensitize cancer cells to apoptosis inducing ligands, such as poly I:C and TRAIL. In collaboration with the University of Arizona, NCI investigators discovered a series of compounds in the withanolide family that synergistically enhance the response of cancer cells to treatment with an apoptosis-inducing ligand. The NCI seeks licensing and/or co-development research collaborations for development of withanolide E analogues for the treatment of cancer.

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.

Multivalent Immunogenic Vaccines for Treating Prostate and Breast Cancer

Researchers at the NCI have developed a treatment for prostate and breast cancer using multivalent peptides derived from TARP, the T cell receptor gamma alternate reading frame protein. These immunogenic peptides from TARP elicit an immune response, triggering T cells to kill only the cancer cells within a patient. NCI seeks licensees or co-development partners to commercialize this invention.

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.

Inhibition of T Cell Differentiation and Senescence by Overexpression of Transcription Factor c-Myb

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have developed a method by which memory T cells can be generated from other T cell populations using overexpression of the transcription factor c-Myb. Importantly, these reprogrammed memory T cells show increased proliferative and survival capacity. This strategy could also potentially generate anti-tumor T cells with improved viability and therapeutic efficacy for adoptive ACT. Researchers at the NCI seek licensing and/or co-development research collaborations for this invention.

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.

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.

High Affinity Monoclonal Antibodies Targeting Glypican-1

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have isolated two Glypican-1- (GPC1)- specific antibodies: the mouse monoclonal antibody HM2 that binds the C-lobe of GPC1 close to the cell surface, and the camel single domain antibody D4. The D4 single domain antibody (also called ‘nanobody’) has a high affinity for GPC1-positive tumor cells from both human and mouse origins. The NCI seeks licensing and/or co-development research collaborations to advance the development and commercialization of these antibodies.

A peptide hydrogel for use in vascular anastomosis

Surgery specialists from Johns Hopkins University, in collaboration with researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), developed peptide hydrogel compositions and methods to suture blood vessels during microsurgery. The hydrogels particularly benefit surgeons in whole tissue transplant procedures. The NCI seeks co-development research collaborations for further development of this technology.

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.

T Cell Receptors Targeting p53 Hotspot Mutations and Methods of Isolating the Same

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) identified a collection of T Cell Receptors (TCRs) that target specific mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor protein. These TCRs recognize “hotspot” mutations, which frequently occur in a variety of unrelated cancers. These TCRs can be used for a variety of therapeutic, diagnostic and research applications. Researchers at the NCI seek licensing and/or co-development research collaborations for these novel T cell receptors that recognize p53 mutations and methods for identifying p53 mutation-reactive T cell receptors.

MADCO-Accelerated Multidimensional Diffusion MRI

The marginal distribution constrained optimization (MADCO) methodology is disclosed wherein a 2D (or higher-dimensional) spectrum is estimated from initial 1D marginal distribution data. These 1D marginal distributions are used as constraints in the reconstruction of the 2D spectra. MADCO accelerates and improves the reconstruction of multidimensional NMR relaxation/diffusion spectra, making it suitable for MRI applications on a voxel-by-voxel basis by vastly reducing the amount of data acquired and data necessary for creating MRI images.

Method for Targeted Therapeutic Delivery of Proteins into Cells

The Protein Expression Laboratory at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, MD is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop a platform technology for the targeted intra-cellular delivery of proteins using virus-like particles (VLPs).

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.

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.