Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) developed a genetic assay for detecting transcription errors in RNA synthesis. This new assay extends the familiar concept of an Ames test which monitors DNA damage and synthesis errors to the previously inaccessible issue of RNA synthesis fidelity. The FDA requires genetic DNA focused tests for all drug approval as it assesses the in vivo mutagenic and carcinogenic potential of a drug. The new assay will open an approach to monitoring the impact of treatments on the accuracy of RNA synthesis. Errors in transcription have been hypothesized to be a component of aging and age-related diseases. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) seeks licensing partners for the genetic assay.
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.
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.