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A Novel Method to Generate Specific and Permanent Macromolecular Covalent Inhibitors

UCSF researchers have invented a novel method to generate covalent macromolecular inhibitors. This strategy allows a peptide inhibitor to bind to its target protein specifically and irreversibly through proximity-enabled bioreactivity.

A vaccination strategy against Chlamydia and other sexually transmitted diseases

No vaccines exist against the common sexually-transmitted disease, Chlamydia. The current invention is a novel vaccination formulation wherein fragments from two different microbial proteins, one each from a Chlamydia species and a Neisseria species are fused together. This novel fusion protein is proposed as a robust vaccine to provide protection against Chlamydia.

Novel Method to Identify Unknown Viruses

Prof. Shou-wei Ding and colleagues at UCR have developed a new method for virus discovery that is independent of either amplification or purification of viral particles. Virus-derived siRNAs and piRNAs are produced by the host immune system as an antiviral response to viral infection. These viral siRNAs and piRNAs are overlapping in sequence and can be assembled back into long continuous fragments of the infecting viral RNA genome. A researcher may sequence the total small RNAs of 18 to 29 nucleotides in length in a disease sample and search a public database of viral sequences using the contiguous sequences assembled from the small RNAs to identify a new or known virus with homology to all or part of a known viral genome in the database.

Antibiotic-Peptide Conjugates With Anti-Microbial Efficiency Against Chronic Infections

The global antibiotics market is projected to reach $44.7 billion in 2020, growing at a CAGR of 2%. They are used for treating a large variety of chronic infections such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, typhoid and foodborne illnesses that present a huge health burden. However, there is an urgent need for new antibiotics as resistant bacterial strains are causing recurrent infections. These resistant strains often derive from dormant cells called persister cells that are not penetrated by antibiotics. Targeting these persister cells will help clear recurrent and antibiotic-resistant infections.

Novel Antiviral Compounds to Treat Enterovirus Infections

Researchers in UCLA Department of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology have used a rapid, live virus assay to develop potent enterovirus inhibitors.

Novel Assay to Screen for Antiviral Therapeutics

Prof. Shou-wei Ding and colleagues at UCR have developed three different assays to screen for a new class of antiviral therapies. RNA interference (RNAi) directs antiviral innate immunity by producing virus-derived siRNAs (vsiRNAs). These assays screen for compounds that may be used to inhibit the activity of a distinct group of viral proteins known as viral suppressors of RNAi (VSRs) essential for virus infection. The various assays may use Drosophila, rodent or human somatic cells. These same assays may also be used to identify new VSRs.    

Hybridoma Producing Antibodies To C1qRp

Individuals with genetic immunodeficiency, as well as patients with HIV, cancer, and those undergoing chemotherapy or high risk surgery, are at increased risk for infection. C1q, an important component of the immune system, is known to enhance phagocytosis (cell ingestion of harmful bacteria or other materials). Scientists at UCI have developed antibodies to the receptor for C1q, C1qRp, to be used as a target for prophylactic treatments in populations at high risk of infection.

Stimuli Responsive Immunostimulants

An immune response typically occurs during inflammation, auto-immune diseases, or cancers. In such cases, chemical triggers, or immunostimulants, recognized by receptor proteins at cell membranes activate the immune cells. Researchers can use these immunostimulants to test how different cell subsets contribute to immune response mechanisms. This invention describes a novel type of immunostimulant that can be toggled on and off, both inside the body and in vitro.

Detecting malaria via saliva

This medical device consists of a economical, disposable cartridge that uses saliva samples for quantifying a biomarker for non-invasive detection of malarial infection. Interfacing it with a smartphone will prevent manual errors in diagnoses and data collection, minimize operator skill requirements, facilitate epidemiology, and improve outcomes for >200 million patients / year.

Antibodies targeting mammalian Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Proteins (SREBP) 1 and 2

Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Proteins (SREBP) are important factors that control lipid homeostasis in mammals. Researchers at UCI have prepared antibodies that have good affinity and specificity for human SREBP1/2 for use as research tools. These antibodies have application in genetic and immunotherapeutic research areas.

Enhanced Cell/Bead Encapsulation Via Acoustic Focusing

The invention consists of a multi-channel, droplet-generating microfluidic device with a strategically placed feature. The feature vibrates in order to counteract particle-trapping micro-vortices formed in the device. Counteracting these vortices allows for single particle encapsulation in the droplets formed by the device and makes this technology a good candidate for use in single cell diagnostics and drug delivery systems.

Novel Method Of Imaging Infection Using Radiotracers

UCSF researchers have invented novel radiotracers that allow imaging of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria infections using positron emission tomography (PET) to detect spread of infection and to distinguish that from other mimics.

A Mouse Model of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection for Drug Discovery

UCSF researchers have generated and validated a K14-HPV16 transgenic mouse model, in which transgene expression produces neoplastic progression that fully resembles the gynecological and other epithelial dysplastic lesions induced by high risk HPVs. This model offers an invaluable tool for studying HPV infection and developing new drugs for HPV treatment.

A Micro/Nanobubble Oxygenated Solutions for Wound Healing and Tissue Preservation

Soft-tissue injuries and organ transplantation are common in modern combat scenarios. Organs and tissues harvested for transplantation need to be preserved during transport, which can be very difficult. Micro and nanobubbles (MNBs) offer a new technology that could supply oxygenation to such tissues prior to transplantation, thus affording better recovery and survival of patients. Described here is a novel device capable of producing MNB solutions that can be used to preserve viability and function of such organs/tissue. Additionally, these solutions may be used with negative pressure wound therapy to heal soft-tissue wounds.

Enhanced Fluorescence Readout And Reduced Inhibition For Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests

UCLA researchers in the Department of Bioengineering have developed an enhanced fluorescent detection method for nucleic acid amplification tests.

Method to Control the Spread of Mosquitos Carrying the Zika Virus by a Split Trans-Complementing Gene-Drive System for Suppressing Aedes aegypti Mosquitos

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is known to transmit dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya virus, and Zika virus which have a worldwide impact on people’s health. Moreover, both Chikungunya and Zika virus were recently introduced into the western hemisphere and are poised to sweep throughout the areas in the range of mosquitos with the potential of infecting people who live in these broad areas. Attempts to eradicate these diseases by eliminating the Aedes aegypti mosquito by conventional use of spraying insecticides has met with limited success. So, in the absence of effective mosquito abatement, vaccines may provide the best strategy of preventing disease. Currently, there are vaccines for Yellow Fever and Dengue Fever (undergoing further testing); no vaccines exist for either Chikungunya or Zika virus at present. In the absence of such vaccines, UC San Diego researchers have developed a novel approach to control the spread of mosquitos.

Novel method for detection of O-Sulfonation sites on post-translationally modified proteins

Sulfonation of proteins and carbohydrates plays an important role in signaling, transport, and metabolism in the body. The degree to which a molecule is modified and at what positions dictates how that structure interacts within the body. UCI researchers have developed novel methods of detecting and mapping serine and threonine sulfonation of peptides and proteins.

Continuous Analyte Sensor Device

Researchers at UCI have developed an implantable medical device for monitoring patient analytes. One application for the device is to continuously measure analytes and oxygen in trauma patients. This biosensor affords rapid and accurate continuous measurements of molecules critical for assessing patient status in clinical settings. This device may also be adapted to measure other analytes, such as glucose, for long-term disease management.  

A Novel Therapeutic Against HIV Using Human T Cell Immunoglobulin Mucin (TIM-3) Ligands to Modulate Immune Response

Blocking human T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain-containing molecule 3 (TIM-3) signaling can restore functionality to defective T cells in HIV-1 infected patients. Additionally, measuring TIM-3 provides clinicians with a novel way of evaluating, staging, and monitoring the progression of HIV infections.

Method to Enrich for Cells Transduced with Chimeric Antigen Receptors

Researchers at UCLA have developed a method to expand chimeric antigen receptor-transduced T cells for use in immunotherapies.

Methods for Disrupting HIV Latency Using Anti-HIV Latency Agents

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed methods for reactivating latent viral infection in peripheral blood samples of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals receiving anti-retroviral therapy and for optimizing the process by including additional reactivation agents.

Genotyping Bacteria to Predict Social Contact and Structure

Social connectivity has been increasingly recognized as an essential determinant of disease. How individuals form groups and interact is directly linked to the distribution of diseases in the population, a fact highlighted by the recent Ebola epidemic and reemergence of vaccine preventable diseases in the United States. Notably, this applies not only to infectious diseases, where the spread of diseases is sensitive to the structure of the contact network, but also to chronic diseases, where individuals share common exposures.  Unfortunately, the importance of knowing the structure of social networks is matched by the difficulty in accurately measuring them.    UC Berkeley researchers have developed a method to determine the contact network structure of a population by using the microevolution and transmission of commensal bacteria.  As a result, investigators will be able to track chains of transmission more accurately and quickly during epidemic. 

A New Class Of HIV Inhibitors Targeting Viral Accessory Factor vif

Current antiretroviral agents target enzymatic functions of the virus such as reverse transcription (nonnucleoside or nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors; NNRTI and NRTI), protease processing of viral polyporoteins (protease inhibitors), viral membrane fusion (fusion inhibitors) and viral DNA integration (integarase inhibitors). Drug cocktail (a combination of nonnucleoside and nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors as well as protease inhibitors) is effective in suppressing viral infection into a chronic condition which rarely progresses to AIDS, many of the inhibitors have adverse side effects. For example, NRTIs can interfere with mitochondrial DNA synthesis and cause hypersensitivity, anemia, diarrhea, neuropathy, nausea, and fatigue in patients. NNRTI may cause severe liver damage or psychological disorders such as depression and insomnia. Protease inhibitors may cause numerous drug-drug interaction, elevated lipodystrophy, and elevated risk of heart attack. Lastly, integrase inhibitors only have short and medium term medical outcomes but are not suitable for long-term use. Therefore there is a need to search for a different class of HIV inhibitors that are efficacious and better-tolerated by patients. HIV-1 encodes accessory proteins including vif, vpu, and nef; these proteins counteract cellular antiviral factors that otherwise would restrict viral replication. Necessary for the replication of HIV-1, vif promotes viral replication by targeting host antiviral protein apobec 3 for degradation. Apobec 3 is a cytidine deaminase that introduces catastrophic levels of G to A hypermutations in viral cDNA, thus yielding biologically incompetent viral genomes. As viral replication is absolutely dependent on the ability of vif to neutralize apobec 3, the vif-apobec axis is an attractive antiviral target.  Currently, there are no compounds that target the vif/apobec axis.

New Inhibitors of the HIV Protease

Drug resistance is one of the key roadblocks towards successful treatment of AIDS. Although numerous drugs have been developed to target various viral proteins, resistant viral strains are selected in the presence of the drug to become dominant in the population, therefore severely impairing drug efficacy and increasing the cost of treatment. There is an unmet need to develop strategies to combat drug resistance.

Novel compounds for the treatment of fungal infections

Treatment of fungal infections remains a medical challenge and better and more efficacious treatments are needed. Antifungal agents provide relief from fungal infections that can potentially infect almost any part of the human body, but, systemic fungal infections can be life threatening. A commonly prescribed antifungal drug for systemic fungal infections is fluconazole. Fluconazole tends to be well tolerated; however there have been reports of various undesirable side effects as well as the emergence of fluconazole resistant fungal strains.

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These technologies are part of the UC QuickStart program.