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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Efficient Cell-Free Production of Papillomavirus Gene Transfer Vectors

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) developed cell free methods for efficiently producing high titer, papillomavirus virus-based gene transfer vectors. These vectors can potentially be used for vaccines and/or cancer therapeutic applications. NCI seeks licensing and/or co-development research collaborations for further development of these vectors.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Multifunctional RNA Nanoparticles as Cancer and HIV Therapeutics

The promise of RNA interference based therapeutics is made evident by the recent surge of biotechnological drug companies that pursue such therapies and their progression into human clinical trials. The present technology discloses novel RNA  and RNA/DNA nanoparticles including multiple siRNAs, RNA aptamers, fluorescent dyes, and proteins. The National Cancer Institute sees parties interested licensing this technology  or in collaborative research to co-develop RNAi-based nanoparticle therapeutics for cancer and HIV.

Anti-bacterial Treatments Using Peptide-Based Inhibitors of the STAT3-IL10 Pathway

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that typically affects the lungs. Current therapies include a panel of antibiotics given over a range of 6-9 months. As a result of the expense of treatment, the extended timeframe needed for effective treatment, and the scarcity of medicines in some developing countries, patient compliance with TB treatment is very low and results in multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). There remains a need for a faster, more effective treatment for TB. NCI researchers seek licensing and/or co-development of peptide inhibitors of STAT3 and IL-10 developed to treat bacterial infections such as tuberculosis. See aslo: NIH inventions E-164-2007 and E-167-2010

Treating JC Polyomavirus Infection and Associated Leukoencephalopathy

The National Cancer Institute seeks parties interested in collaborative research to co-develop or license methods of treating disorders related to polyomavirus, as well as vaccines for patients undergoing immunosuppressive treatment such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, B cell cancers, and Crohn’s disease.

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).

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