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Collaborative Research and Licensing Opportunity: Small Molecule Imaging Of Fungi By Positron Emission Tomography Scanning

The calcofluor derivatives disclosed in the patent application may be utilized as imaging agents specific for fungal infections and could potentially become a standard, non-invasive procedure in the work-up of immunocompromised patients with lung infections.

This technology relates to the field of radioactive, isotopically-labeled calcofluor derivatives and uses of such compounds to detect a broad spectrum of filamentous fungi including pathogenic species such as Aspergillus and Mucorales, by diagnostic imaging methods such as positron emission tomography (PET) scanning.

Aspergillosis and other filamentous fungal infections are increasingly common fungal lung infection with high mortality rates (over 50%) in immune compromised patients, such as those receiving chemotherapy, stem cell/organ transplantation, or HIV patients. One-year survival of the infected patients ranges from 59% (organ transplant recipients) to as low as 25% (stem cell transplant recipients). Delayed diagnosis and therapy are likely to lead to poor outcomes and death.This disease is often first detected as nodules on CT scans. A diagnosis is typically made following invasive lung bronchoscopy or biopsy. However, as these patients are immunocompromised, these invasive procedures may themselves lead to significant complications and infections.Therefore, to enable timely treatment and minimize complications, there is a critical need for non-invasive means to detect and diagnose fungal infections.

The calcofluor derivatives disclosed in the patent application may be utilized as imaging agents specific for fungal infections and could potentially become a standard, non-invasive procedure in the work-up of immunocompromised patients with lung infections.

Potential Commercial Applications:

  • Diagnostics of Aspergillosis and other filamentous fungal infections

Competitive Advantages:

  • Non-invasive
  • Low toxicity
  • Specific for Aspergillus

Development Stage:

In vivo data available (animal)

Publications:

1.Palmer GE, et al., The diverse roles of autophagy in medically important fungi, Autophagy. 2008 Nov; 4(8):982-8.[PMID 18927489]

2.Panepinto JC, et al., Deletion of the Aspergillus fumigatus gene encoding the Ras-related protein RhbA reduces virulence in a model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, Infect Immun. 2003 May; 71(5):2819-26.[PMID 12704156]

3.Desoubeaux D, et al., Diagnosis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis: updates and recommendations, Med Mal Infect. 2014 Mar; 44(3):89-101.[PMID 24548415]

Intellectual Property:HHS Reference Nos. E-449-2013/0,1: U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/894,754; PCT Application No. PCT/US2014/061917; European Application No. 14800182.9; Australian Application No. 2014340035; Canadian Application No. 2927952; and U.S. Application No. 15/030,554.

LIcensing and Collaborative Research Opportunity:The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in licensing or collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize for development of this invention. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Dr. David Yang, 240-627-3413; polung.yang@nih.gov.

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NIAID Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office

NIAID’s technology transfer office, TTIPO, is a one-stop resource for organizations interested in partnering with NIAID to access, develop, and manage the translation of research discoveries into medically beneficial products. TTIPO seeks to expand NIAID’s innovation pipeline with existing and new partners in areas such as newly emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases (e.g., dengue, Zika, Ebola, influenza, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and HIV/AIDS), biodefense (e.g., smallpox and anthrax), and immune-mediated diseases (e.g., asthma and allergy).

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