SBIR Phase I: Production of Transgenic Poultry Resistant to Avian Influenza Infection by RNAi

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch:
N/A
Amount:
$86,302.00
Award Year:
2007
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
0712073
Agency Tracking Number:
0712073
Solicitation Year:
2006
Solicitation Topic Code:
BT
Solicitation Number:
NSF 06-598
Small Business Information
AviGenics Inc.
111 Riverbend Rd., 411 MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE, Athens, GA, 30605
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
967296187
Principal Investigator
 Leandro Christmann
 PhD
 (706) 227-1170
 christmann@avigenics.com
Business Contact
 Leandro Christmann
Title: PhD
Phone: (706) 227-1170
Email: christmann@avigenics.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project generates transgenic poultry resistant to avian influenza (AI) virus through RNA interference (RNAi) technology. Poultry are vulnerable to AI infections that can rapidly reach mortality rates approaching 100%. Current vaccines provide only limited protection, with prophylaxis based on surveillance and diagnosis, followed by rapid depopulation and disposal of infected or exposed birds and quarantine and disinfection of farms and equipment. RNAi technology is a new strategy that could be applied to the inhibition of AI virus replication, representing a paradigm shift in the way to deal with the challenges of AI. Phase I objectives are (i) to generate ALV vectors hosting short interfering RNA (siRNA), (ii) establish stable cell lines hosting siRNAs vectors and (iii) test the efficacy of siRNAs against AI viruses. Three siRNAs shown to effectively inhibit AI viruses will be used to generate cell lines, which will be challenged with 5 different AI viruses to determine whether these vectors, when integrated into the avian genome, can effectively inhibit AI viruses. The broader impact of this research will be to improve the biosecurity of biopharmaceutical production in poultry as the avian influenza virus spreads and well as potentially protecting the food supply from natural as well as bioterrorist threats should these transgenic chickens gain wide approval in the marketplace.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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