A Potential Target for Discovery and Development of Novel Antiviral Agents Against Porcine Endogenous Retrovirus

The Invention Researchers in Tel Aviv University have cloned and characterized Reverse Transcriptase (RT) of PERV-B - a variant that infects human cells and, hence, might infect human recipients of porcine tissues. The recombinant PERV-RT is expressed in bacteria, giving large amounts of soluble and highly active enzyme, which is relatively insensitive to nucleoside analogues inhibitors (NRTIs) and non-nucleoside analogue inhibitors (NNRTIs). The availability of an active, purified recombinant target greatly facilitates the screening for anti-PERV Drugs.
The Need Xenotransplantation of porcine tissues has the potential to treat a wide variety of major health problems. However, potential benefits are balanced with a risk of human infection by porcine originated viruses. A key safety issue is the transmission of Porcine Endogenous Retrovirus (PERV) that has been shown to infect human cells.
Potential Applications The recombinant PERV-RT may serve as a potential target for the identification of new drug leads for treatment of PERV infection, thus enabling the development of porcine originated tissues for Xenotransplantation.
Advantages The recombinant production of PERV RT enzyme in bacteria offers the possibility of producing large amounts of soluble material at high yield and high biological activity, cost-effectively and safely.
Stage In-vitro studies References
"Expression and characterization of recombinant novel reverse transcriptase of porcine endogenous retrovirus" Virology 307 (2003) 341-357.

Inventor(s): Amnon Hizi

Type of Offer: Licensing

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