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KNOXVILLE, TN, United States

Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.26K | Year: 2009

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The goal of this SBIR project is to develop a new drug discovery platform for screening tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The main innovation of the proposed platform is the use of a multi-enzyme assay, which is able to measure efficiency and identify inhibition mechanism in a single experiment in real-time using a small-volume sample. The proposed platform addresses the drawbacks of the existing methods by reducing the cost of reagents by ten times or more; by substantially reducing the assay time and significantly increasing the information yield of the drug screening process. The technology is adaptable to high through put format and has unique capabilities for identification and study allosteric kinase inhibitors, which play a central role in the development of new pharmaceuticals for treatment of cancer, inflammatory diseases, neural disorders, and metabolism problems. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Protein kinases represent one of the most promising groups of drug targets due to the vital role played by kinases in such pathological conditions as cancer, inflammatory diseases, neural disorders, and metabolism problems. Currently about 25% of all research spending on drug discovery and development is directed to new kinase inhibitors with a special focus on the discovery of allosteric inhibitors, which have a higher inhibition efficiency, lower toxicity and longer duration of action. Yet, identification of new allosteric inhibitors is challenging and requires tedious kinetic and X-ray diffraction studies, which are costly, labor intensive and too often are not carried out at the full extend. The technology under development in this SBIR project has a unique capability for identification and study allosteric kinase inhibitors and is able to provide more information quickly and at a lower cost.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2007

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The goal of this project is to develop a new, highly sensitive, and cost-effective RNA Enzymatic Luminescence Assay (qELA) for high-throughput detection and quantification of microRNA in biological samples. The assay implements the same detection concept known from pyrosequencing, yet expands pyrosequencing detection methodology for highly sensitive and accurate quantification of small RNA molecules. The proposed assay has unique sensitivity and dynamic range and is expected to outperform real-time PCR in applications for analysis of small RNA molecules. The qELA requires less expensive reagents and equipment than RT-PCR and microarrays and can be used in a number of commercial assays for application in life sciences research, drug discovery, and clinical diagnosis.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 375.00K | Year: 2007

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The goal of this project is to develop a new microarray platform for performing high-multiplexed analysis of RNA and DNA without chemical modification of target molecules for detection. The main innovation of the proposed approach is the use nanometer-size particles, which carry electric charges and are capable of binding to non-modified target molecules on microarray. This new approach eliminates labeling bias and increases accuracy of RNA and DNA analysis. The approach also significantly reduces time and cost of analysis and allows inexpensive equipment to be used for highly sensitive detection of DNA and RNA on high-density microarrays. In Phase I the proof-of-principle of the proposed approach was demonstrated by comparing results of proposed detection approach and conventional fluorescent microarrays. Application of the proposed microarray system was demonstrated for differential gene expression analysis of normal and ionomycin-stimulated T- cells. In Phase II the system will be further optimized for compatibility with main brands of microarray products and validated for gene expression analysis and microbial genotyping through collaboration with research groups at academic institutions. Achieving the proposed goals of technical performance, simplicity and cost efficiency will provide critical breakthrough and establish a new standard in microarray field. The proposed microarray platform can be implemented in a number of new commercial products, which can find broad application in biomedical research, clinical diagnosis, environmental control, bio-defense, and other areas, which require detection, recognition, and quantification of biological agents.The goal of this project is to develop a new microarray system for gene expression analysis of total RNA without labeling and reverse transcription to cDNA. The proposed microarray platform is the only microarray sytem on market, which is capable of high- multiplexed analysis of DNA, RNA and proteins without chemical modification of target molecules. With the recent reports of using microarrays in clinical tests for tumorogenesis and prognosis of a chemotherapy outcome, introducing an advanced and inexpensive microarray platform will find broad applications in cancer research, developmental genetics, clinical diagnosis, drug discovery, toxicogenomics, and environmental analysis in more than 1,800 clinical laboratories and 45,000 of life science research laboratories in US alone.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.89K | Year: 2010

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The goal of this SBIR Phase I project is the development of a new drug discovery platform for screening new inhibitors of viral polymerases and for studying mechanisms of action of the prospective pharmaceutical compounds. The main innovation in this project is the proposed concept of a multi-enzyme assay, which is able to measure efficiency and identify the mechanism of action of a viral polymerase inhibitor in a single experiment using a small reaction volume in realtime detection mode using widely available commercial instruments (luminometers). The proposed platform is superior over the existing methods in that it substantially reduces the cost of reagents, reduces the assay time from days to minutes and is adaptable to high-throughput format for application in large and small scale drug discovery projects. The proposed SBIR project is in response to the NIH call for new approaches aimed at reducing costs and increasing speed of preclinical drug development. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Antiviral therapy represents an important frontier for development of potential lifesaving products. Worldwide, millions of people suffer from viral infections each year. Approximately 360 million people worldwide suffer from hepatitis B virus, the major cause of liver cancer. Worldwide more than 170 million people are infected with hepatitis C, the leading cause of acute liver inflammation and liver cancer. Around the world more than 42 million people are infected with lifethreatening human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), including more than 3 million children. To address the growing medical needs, there is a steady increase in the number of antiviral compounds in development. The proposed SBIR project will create a knowledge base and establish a new technology, which reduces the cost and time of developing pharmaceutical antiviral products with a large health impact in the USA and around the world.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 760.17K | Year: 2010

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The goal of this project is to develop a new highly sensitive and cost effective RNA Enzymatic Luminescence Assay (qELA) for high-throughput detection and quantification of microRNA in biological samples. The assay implements the same detection concept known from pyrosequencing, yet expanding pyrosequencing detection methodology for highly sensitive and accurate quantification of small RNA molecules. The proposed assay can match the performance of the real time quantitative PCR technique (rt-qPCR) in many applications and is simpler and more cost effective. The technology can be implemented in a number of commercial assays for application in life science research, drug discovery, and clinical diagnosis. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The goal of this project is to develop a new high performance cost effective bioluminescence assay for microRNA analysis. The proposed assay provides technologically advanced and significantly less expensive alternative for real time polymerase chain reaction technology, which currently dominates in the market. The proposed bioluminescent assay is universal and can be used in various applications in life science research, drug discovery, clinical diagnosis by 1,800 clinical laboratories and thousands of life science research laboratories in US.

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