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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.

Small Molecule Anti-cancer Agents that Stabilize the MYC-G-Quadruplex

The proto-oncogene c-Myc is deregulated and overexpressed in ~70% of all cancers. Thus, c-Myc is an attractive therapeutic target. Beyond cancer, Myc is also a positive effector of tissue inflammation, and its function has been implicated in the pathophysiology of heart failure. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) developed novel small molecules that target c-Myc at the transcriptional level, thus enabling a potential pan-cancer therapeutic. Specifically, these compounds stabilize the transcription repressing quadruplex in the c-Myc gene promoter region. The National Cancer Institute seeks parties interested in licensing or collaborative research to co-develop these therapeutic targets.'

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.

Sensitizing Cancer Cells to DNA Targeted Therapies

Chk2 is a protein kinase activated in response to DNA double strand breaks. In normal tissues, Chk2 phosphorylates and thereby activates substrates that induce programmed cell death, or apoptosis, via interactions with p53, E2F1, PML proteins. In cancer tissues, where apoptosis is suppressed, Chk2 phosphorylates and inactivates cell cycle checkpoints (via interactions with Cdc25, phosphatases and Brca1 proteins), which allows cancer cells to repair and tolerate DNA damage. Hence, Chk2 inhibitors would be expected to protect normal tissues by reducing apoptosis, and to sensitize cancer cells to DNA-targeted agents. The National Cancer Institute seeks licensees for small molecule inhibitors of Chk2 for the treatment of cancer.

Brachyury-directed Vaccine for the Prevention or Treatment of Cancers

Researchers at the NCI have developed a vaccine technology that stimulates the immune system to selectively destroy metastasizing cells. Stimulation of T cells with the Brachyury peptide promote a robust immune response and lead to targeted lysis of invasive tumor cells. NCI seeks licensing or co-development of this invention.

Convolutional Neural Networks for Organ Segmentation

Computer automated segmentation of high variability organs and disease features in medical images is uniquely difficult. The application of deep learning and specialized neural networks may allow for automation of such interpretation tasks that are currently only performed by trained physicians. Computer automation may improve image analysis capabilities and lead to better diagnostics, disease monitoring, and surgical planning for many diseases. To help solve this challenge, researchers at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (NIHCC) have developed a technology that trains a computer to read and segment certain highly variable image features.

La Protein as a Novel Regulator of Osteoclastogenesis

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) seeks research co-development partners and/or licensees for the further development of methods to target the La protein for the regulation of osteoclastogenesis.

In silico design of RNA nanoparticles

The National Cancer Institute seeks parties interested in licensing or collaborative research to co-develop RNA nanostructures using computational and synthetic methods.

Tumor Tissues Harboring Mutations in cAMP-specific Phosphodiesterases

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Division of Intramural Research, is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize clinical samples with genetic mutations associated with endocrine tumors.

Improved Personalized Cancer Immunotherapy

The National Cancer Institute’s Surgery Branch seeks partners interested in collaborative research to co-develop adoptive transfer of tumor infiltrating leukocytes (TIL) for cancers other than melanoma.

Establishment of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC) from the Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel

Hibernation in mammals is a seasonal state of metabolic suppression and dormancy characterized by a decrease in body temperature to survive extreme environmental stresses. A new Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) line has been established from the neural precursor cells of wild type thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus), a small mammalian hibernator with unique metabolic adaptations for coping with cold and restricted food supply. This ground squirrel iPSC line can be differentiated into many different cell types for hibernation studies, disease modeling, and drug screening for neuronal injuries or other diseases.

Extremely Rapid Method to Isolate Neoantigen Reactive T Cell Receptors (TCRs)

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have developed a novel method for identifying neoantigen reactive T cells and T cell receptors (TCRs), isolated from fresh tumors of common epithelial cancers. This highly specific and sensitive method allows rapid determination of the neoantigen reactive TCR sequences and can be very useful to translate this information into TCR-engineered T-cell populations for immunotherapy without the need to grow tumor infiltrating T-cells and expensive, time-consuming screening. The NCI seeks research co-development partners and/or licensees for this invention.

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.

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