Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tech Spotlight: LPL Modulation to Treat Obesity, Alzheimer’s and Other LPL-Mediated Disorders

Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) is a multifunctional enzyme produced by many tissues including adipose tissue and muscle, and is also present throughout the nervous system. A selective knockout of the LPL gene in the brain leads to development of severe obesity in mammals. This effect is mediated by the hippocampus. Since the hippocampus is involved in memory function, it is believed that LPL also plays a role in other diseases such as memory related diseases, for example, Alzheimer’s disease, age related senility, as well as other memory related diseases.

A research team from the University of Colorado led by Dr. Robert Eckel has developed a technique for modulating the activity of Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) in the brain, opening the door for new therapies to treat obesity and related memory disorders, and new methods of regulating body weight.

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

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 2011 Newsletter Now Available

Top stories from TTO's April newsletter:

Four CU Companies Receive Tech Commercialization Grants from State of Colorado
Four companies formed around technologies developed at the University of Colorado were recently selected to receive funding from Colorado's Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant Program. The company grant program (BDEG-Co), launched in 2007 by the State of Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, provides early-stage matching “seed” grants to enable the development and commercial validation of promising technologies that are licensed from Colorado research institutions by Colorado based start-up companies.

CU-based companies receiving funding in this round:2CTech Corp., BioAMPS International,Mosaic Biosciences and Suvica.

OPXBIO, Dow Chemical Team to Develop Bioacrylic
CU licensee OPX Biotechnologies Inc. has partnered with Dow Chemical Co. in an effort that could result in the industrial-scale production and eventual commercialization of acrylic products made from corn and cane sugar. OPX signed a joint development agreement with Dow to prove the technical and economic viability of an industrial-scale process to produce acrylic acid from a fermentable sugar feedstock and have the resulting product have equal performance qualities to that of petroleum-based acrylic acid.

BioSIPs: A Conversation with Julee Herdt and Kellen Schauermann
Making a major leap from research and development to green building material and commercialization of a product, CU professor Julee Herdt and former CU grad student Kellen Schauermann are innovators in developing cleaner, stronger, healthier ways to construct buildings. Herdt and Schauermann currently have the first BioSIP prototype building construction underway with a team of CU grads and students, and have founded BioSIPs Inc., a green building material design and architecture firm.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tech Spotlight: Biomarkers Predicting Response to Schizophrenia Treatment

Unlike diabetes and hypothyroidism, neuro-psychological diseases currently do not benefit from approved, simple blood tests that assist in proper dosing of medications. For diseases like schizophrenia, doses of antipsychotics are determined (inadequately) by subjective means like questioning and observing a patient, and by trial and error. Each error in medication dose subjects the patient to a likely relapse; relapse is significant and may cost the patient life, family support, job and home.

A research team led by Judith Gault of the University of Colorado has discovered that DISC1 isoform levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) are an effective treatment response marker for patients on a variety of antipsychotics. This discovery has led to the development of methods for predicting effective treatment of schizophrenia by monitoring a patient’s fluid sample (e.g., blood) to measure the patient’s genetic (transcriptional) response to medications. The biomarker of treatment-response can be used as an indicator of treatment success or ineffectiveness, and lead to the ability to further optimize the dose of medication in patients with schizophrenia to prevent relapse.

Updated reference: Elevated DISC1 transcript levels in PBMCs during acute psychosis in patients with schizophrenia. Translational Biomedicine, Vol. 2 No. 1:4 (2011).

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

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tech Spotlight: Improved Drug Delivery Using Electrostatic Co-extrusion Techniques

A research group led by Thomas Anchordoquy has developed an electrostatic co-extrusion manufacturing process for production of liposomes. The process utilizes electrostatic spraying (Electro-Hydrodynamic breakup) to form an aqueous droplet while another miscible fluid containing the encapsulating material (“shell”) is simultaneously extruded around the aqueous droplet. In this manner, encapsulated vesicles are produced individually with 100% encapsulation efficiency.

Liposome encapsulation, used primarily to manufacture new drugs and drug delivery systems, represents the most immediate and potentially significant application for this technology. Encapsulation is also used in a variety of well-known applications such as scratch-and-sniff perfumes, carbonless copy paper, laundry detergent, and packaged baking mixes. This method is also ideally suited for these applications as it may be used to encapsulate any water-soluble substance within a variety of materials.

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