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STTR Phase I: Novel Molecularly Targeted Tracer for Specific and Sensitive Imaging of Cancer

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1321424
Agency Tracking Number: 1321424
Amount: $225,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: EB
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2012
Award Year: 2013
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2013-07-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2014-06-30
Small Business Information
119 Glenhaven Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27516-4044
United States
DUNS: 968598628
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Anka Veleva
 (919) 607-1074
Business Contact
 Anka Veleva
Phone: (919) 607-1074
Research Institution
 UNC at Chapel Hill
 Cam Patterson
4134 Engineering Building III
Raleigh, NC 27695-
United States

 () -
 Nonprofit College or University

This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I project takes an innovative approach at tumor targeting by investigating an entirely novel tumor targeting platform that utilizes bone marrow derived, circulating tumor homing cells as natural vectors. Through screening of phage display peptide libraries we have identified high affinity peptide ligands that bind these cells with high specificity. These high affinity, high specificity peptide ligands and their applications for molecular imaging of tumor?s blood supply represent the innovation in this Phase I project. Radiolabeled peptide directed compounds will be synthersized and their potential to deliver molecular ?payloads? specifically to malignant vasculature in a mouse model of cancer will be characterized. The results from this development effort will provide proof-of-principle validation for a new targeting paradigm in which circulating tumor localizing cell populations can be exploited for highly transformative and innovative technology development for the benefit of cancer patients. The broader impact of this project and the commercialization of the molecular diagnostic tracer developed here will have important implications for furthering oncology care through personalized approaches: First, specific and sensitive imaging based on monitoring of homing of circulating cells to tumor tissue will be beneficial for tumor staging and re-staging. Second, in addition the outcomes of this development effort would provide more predictable information relevant to treatment that has been lacking so far. Close assessment of patient?s response to treatment by monitoring the presence or absence of circulating tumor homing cells would improve treatment outcomes and guide the development of personalized therapies. Third, especially promising clinical direction is to selectively deliver anti-angiogenic, and therapeutic compounds as anticancer strategies. Because endogenous cells are utilized as natural biologic vectors, the barriers to commercialization and clinical implementation of our innovative diagnostic tracer are much lower than for other emerging technologies.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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