Selective Prodrug Activation in Cancer Cells Using Protein Switches

Cancer is a major health problem in the world and is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. An estimated 1.3 million new cases of cancer are reported in the U.S. each year. Current chemotherapeutic agents and gene-directed enzyme prodrug therapy (GDEPT; also known as "suicide gene therapy"), used for cancer treatment, suffer from a lack of selectivity for cancer cells over normal cells. To overcome this problem, JHU scientists have proposed the use of protein switches to activate specific prodrug only in the targeted cancer cells. This new approach utilizes a targeting strategy distinct from transductional and transcriptional targeting and does not necessarily require specific delivery of the gene or selective activation of the gene in cancer cells. Description (Set) Successful development of a therapeutic protein switch will greatly improve the efficiency of chemotherapy treatment, while reducing the side-effects associated with this treatment. Proposed Use (Set) Potential therapy to treat various types of cancer.

Inventor(s): Ostermeier, Marc,Wright, Chapman

Type of Offer: Licensing

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