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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.

NSAIDs that Assist the Treatment of Human Diseases

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) developed compounds containing both a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and a nitroxyl (HNO) -releasing agent that have significantly reduced toxicity, allowing their use for extended periods of time without severe side effects.The HNO-releasing moiety contained in this invention may expand the medical utility of NSAIDs. HNO releasing agents possess anticancer activity as well as good antioxidant properties, which has potential benefit for a variety of human diseases, including acute and chronic inflammation. NCI seeks parties to license or co-develop this technology.

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.'

Combination Cancer Therapy with HDAC Inhibitors

NCI researchers developed a combination therapy of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors and immunotherapies, such as checkpoint inhibitors, virus-based vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, cell-based treatments or radiopharmaceuticals. The NCI Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology seeks parties to license or co-develop this method.

Niclosamide for Treating Adrenocortical Cancer (ACC)

Researchers at the NCI have developed a novel treatment for adrenocortical cancer (ACC) by repositioning the drug niclosamide. New treatments for ACC can help patients with this rare and aggressive disease, where the current standard of care involves highly toxic options. The NCI seeks parties to license this method of treating adrenocortical cancer using niclosamide.

Combination Therapy for Prostate and Breast Cancer

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute developed a novel method of immunogenic modulation in androgen and endocrine deprivation therapy. A combination of hormone therapy with immunotherapies such as PROSTVAC™, a Brachyury vaccine, PROVENGE™, ipilumimab, nivolumab, XOFIGO™, PANVAC, a yeast-MUC-1 immunotherapeutic, or HERCEPTIN™ can benefit prostate and breast cancer patients, especially those who have acquired resistances. The researchers seek parties to co-develop this method.

Functionally-Interdependent Shape-Switching Nucleic Acid Nanoparticles

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have developed nucleic-acid-based nanoparticle that can be adapted for RNA interference (RNAi), molecular imaging, or a combination thereof. The invention nanoparticles can be used as therapeutics in the treatment of cancer, whichthe NCI seeks parties to license or co-develop.

Cancer Therapeutic Based on Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1 (HIF-1) Inhibitors

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have developed small molecule compounds that inhibit activity of hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF-1). The HIF-1 inhibitor compounds are designed around the scaffold of naturally occurring metabolite eudistidine. The invention compounds have demonstrated activity against cancer and malaria in vitro.

Chimeric Antigen Receptors that Recognize Mesothelin for Cancer Immunotherapy

Researchers at the NCI have developed chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) with a high affinity for mesothelin to be used as an immunotherapy to treat pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, and mesothelioma. Cells that express CARs, most notably T cells, are highly reactive against their specific tumor antigen in an MHC-unrestricted manner to generate an immune response that promotes robust tumor cell elimination when infused into cancer patients.

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.

A Rapid Method of Isolating Neoantigen-specific T Cell Receptor Sequences

Recent research has demonstrated that neoantigen-specific T-cell receptors (TCRs) can be isolated from a cancer patient’s lymphocytes. These TCRs may be used to engineer populations of tumor-reactive T cells for cancer immunotherapies. Obtaining sequences of these functional TCRs is a critical initial step in preparing this type of personalized cancer treatment; however, current methods are time-consuming and labor-intensive. Scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have developed a rapid and robust method of isolating the sequences of mutation-specific TCRs to alleviate these issues; they seek licensing and/or co-development research collaborations for the development of a method for isolating the sequences of tumor-reactive TCRs. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D. at sar@nih.gov.

Near-IR Light-Cleavable Antibody Conjugates and Conjugate Precursors

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) developed novel groups of cyanine (Cy) based antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) chemical linkers that undergo photolytic cleavage upon irradiation with near-IR light. By using the fluorescent properties of the Cy linker to monitor localization of the ADC, and subsequent near-IR irradiation of cancerous tissue, drug release could be confined to the tumor microenvironment.

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