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Genetically Programmable Spherical Nucleic Acids as Rapidly Adaptable…

Award Information

Department of Defense
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
AuraSense Therapeutics LLC
8045 Lamon Avenue Suite 410 Skokie, IL -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: Genetically Programmable Spherical Nucleic Acids as Rapidly Adaptable Nanotherapeutics
Agency / Branch: DOD / DARPA
Contract: W911QX-12-C-0073
Award Amount: $149,295.00


AuraSense Therapeutics is developing oligonucleotide-modified gold nanoparticles called spherical nucleic acid (SNA) constructs, which are a powerful new way of regulating cellular gene expression. AuraSense Therapeutics will use SNAs as genetically programmable antimicrobial agents in a manner to provide a rapid and effective way to develop next generation antibiotics. The outcome of this work will be a new approach to generating bactericides- a rapidly adaptable genetically programmable nanoparticle therapeutic (RANT). The strategy is designed to be capable of being rapidly re-programmed to counter microbial threats, both natural and engineered. Importantly, our system can be adapted to kill emerging and mutating microbial threats, on-the-fly, by simply changing the oligonucleotide sequence conjugated to the Au NP surface. Because the constructs only change in genetic targeting sequence, it is a way in which to develop new agents without altering major toxicity and biodistribution profiles. As a result, an argument can be made for compassionate use of a new sequence via an abbreviated pharmaceutical development cycle.

Principal Investigator:

David Giljohann
Chief Scientific Officer
(847) 467-2887

Business Contact:

Percy V. Crocker
VP of Commercial Development
(847) 467-2885
Small Business Information at Submission:

AuraSense Therapeutics LLC
8045 Lamon Avenue Skokie, IL -

EIN/Tax ID: 452638444
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No