Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tech Spotlight: MicroRNAs to Diagnose and Treat Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

A research team from the University of Colorado led by Jennifer Richer has developed a miRNA screen for identifying triple-negative breast cancers. The team has identified 5 miRNAs that are mysregulated in triple-negative breast cancer that can be used to determine if a sample is triple-negative. By screening for miRNA levels that are related to estrogen and growth factor signaling molecules and comparing them to miRNA expression levels of luminal breast cancer cells the inventors are able to classify a cancer as triple-negative or ER positive. Their screening also provides the possibility of treating the identified cancers with the screened miRNAs. From the screening results, miRNA treatment to correct the mysregulated miRNAs can be tailored to each patient.

To read a non-confidential summary of this technology, please click the image above. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tech Spotlight: Heterogenous Catalyst for Improved Selectivity in Industrial Processes

Heterogeneous catalysts are widely used in industrial processes because of their stability and ease of separation from the reactant phase compared to their homogenous counterparts. A continual challenge in the advancement of heterogeneous catalysts is in the improvement of selectivity, which can significantly reduce costs of product purification and waste. Historically, homogenous catalysts offer high selectivity utilizing specific interactions, while heterogeneous catalysts employing these principles are lacking. A University of Colorado research group led by Will Medlin has discovered a method for improving selectivity in heterogeneous catalysts using a palladium catalyst with a thiol coating. This breakthrough has particular applications in reactions of many biomass-derived molecules.

To read a non-confidential summary of this technology, including links to relevant documents, please click the image above. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November 2010 Newsletter Now Available

Top stories from TTO's November newsletter:

miRagen Therapeutics Signs Research and Licensing Agreements with CU for microRNA Profiling of Human Heart Failure Study
miRagen Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on improving patients' lives by developing innovative microRNA (miRNA)-based therapeutics for cardiovascular and muscle disease, and the University of Colorado (CU) announced in late October that they have entered into sponsored research and licensing agreements to collaborate on miRNA therapeutics discovery and development. The sponsored research agreement will support the analysis of miRNA and gene expression changes from a study conducted at the University of Colorado Cardiovascular Institute at the UC Denver School of Medicine, "Beta Blocker Effects on Remodeling and Gene Expression (BORG)," while the licensing agreement will enable the company to commercialize intellectual property associated with discoveries made during the research project.

CU Licensees Receive Therapeutic Discovery Project Grants
Several CU licensees recently received grants through the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project Program, a program established by last year’s healthcare reform bill. The program is intended to benefit small companies developing technologies that are expected to significantly lower the cost and increase the quality of medical care. Colorado-based CU licensees who received grants: ApopLogic Pharmaceuticals, $108,345; ARCA biopharma, $488,958; BioAMPS International, $83,913; EndoShape, $400,872; GlobeImmune, $733,438; Hiberna Corp., $97,142; ICVrx, $244,479; Inviragen; $488,958; miRagen Therapeutics, $244,479; ProFoldRx (BaroFold), $244,479; Quest Product Development, $244,479; SomaLogic, $1,171,054; and ValveXchange, $244,479. Figures reflect grants for both 2009 and 2010; some (but not all) projects involve CU technologies. (See also: Area Bioscience Firms Cash In on Federal Grants.)

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tech Spotlight: MicroRNAs Targeting Six1 as Potential Anti-Cancer Therapies

A research team from the University of Colorado led by Heide Ford has developed a miRNA screen and treatment for cancers that express an embryonic development gene - Six1 - not normally expressed in adulthood. They have shown that their miRNAs down-regulate Six1, which is present in 50% of primary breast tumors and over 90% of metastatic breast lesions, as well as Wilms' Tumor, ovarian tumors, hepatocellular carcinomas and rhabdomyosarcormas. In breast, ovarian and hepatocellular carcinomas expression of the target gene correlates with worsened survival. Six1 is not expressed in adult cells, making this a truly cancer-specific therapy.

To read a non-confidential summary of this technology, including links to relevant patent and scientific documents, please click the image above. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Job Opportunity: Life Sciences Licensing Associate

The CU Technology Transfer Office is seeking a Licensing Associate for its Boulder office, with a background in Chemistry (including Biochemistry), Biology or a related discipline. The Licensing Associate manages a portfolio of intellectual property, which involves identifying, soliciting, and evaluating invention disclosures for patent and market potential, prioritizing investments in the portfolio, and negotiating and administering option and license agreements. Please review the full requirements - to apply, visit www.jobsatcu.com (posting #811942).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tech Spotlight: Ultrasensitive Biochemical Sensing Device for Development of Drugs and Diagnostics

A University of Colorado research group led by Anatoliy Pinchuk has developed an advanced optical biochemical sensor based on coherent collective electronic excitations in noble metal nanoparticles, known as Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR). This technology provides increased sensitivity compared to current sensors, and can be used for real-time monitoring of biochemical reactions, such as antigen-antibody, DNA–DNA and substrate-enzyme interactions.

Because it provides more sensitive monitoring techniques to explore bio-chemical reactions in real time, this technology can ultimately be used for development of new drugs and diagnostics. Specifically, further applications of advanced SPR optical bio-sensors are important for target identification, assay development, ligand fishing, lead selection, and early ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion).

To learn more, click the image above for a non-confidential summary, or go directly to the key scientific publication. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tech Spotlight: Advanced Peptide Synthesis - Method for Peptide Macrocyclization

Therapeutic peptides have become an important part of the pharmaceutical landscape, due in large part to their ability to selectively bind to both intra-and extra-cellular targets. Typically, these protein fragments exhibit higher binding affinity and thus greater potency than similar small molecule therapies. However, peptides often lack the clinical efficacy of the native proteins from which they are derived. Cyclization stabilizes the peptide molecule by constraining its conformation, thus increasing potency and decreasing proteolysis (increasing in vivo half-life). However, cyclic peptide synthesis is slow process, sometimes requiring days to complete the process.

Researchers at the University of Colorado led by Dr. Kristi Anseth have developed a highly specific method for synthesizing cyclic, multivalent peptides using sequential thiol-mediated reactions. This method is quite fast compared to existing multivalent peptide synthesis technologies. Furthermore, the multimerized cyclic peptides exhibit enhanced bioactivity. Rapid, high-yield synthesis of complex cyclic multivalent peptides will be essential to vaccine development and drug delivery.

To read a non-confidential summary of this technology, including links to relevant publications, please click the image above. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site.