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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.

Virus-Like Particles That Can Deliver Proteins and RNA

The present invention describes novel virus-like particles (VLPs) that are capable of binding to and replicating within a target mammalian cell, including human cells. The claimed VLPs are safer than viral delivery because they are incapable of re-infecting target cells. The National Cancer Institute's Protein Expression Laboratory seeks parties interested in licensing the novel delivery of RNA to mammalian cells using virus-like particles.

Peptide Inhibitors for Viral Infections and as Anti-inflammatory Agents

IFN-gamma and IL-10 are cytokine signaling molecules that play fundamental roles in inflammation, cancer growth and autoimmune diseases.  Unfortunately, there are no specific inhibitors of IFN-gamma or IL-10 on the market to date. The National Cancer Institute seeks parties interested in licensing or collaborative research to co-develop selective IL-10 and IFN-gamma peptide inhibitors.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.