sxRNA-based Antiviral Approach targeting Epstein-Barr virus

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41AI115834-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: R41AI115834
Amount: $225,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2015
Solicitation Year: 2015
Solicitation Topic Code: NIAID
Solicitation Number: PA14-072
Small Business Information
170 CHESTNUT ST, Albany, NY, 12210-1906
DUNS: 808416700
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 SUMITA BHADURIMCINTOSH
 (631) 632-9114
 sumita.bhaduri-mcintosh@stonybrook.edu
Business Contact
 EDWARD EVELETH
Phone: (518) 331-1133
Email: ted.eveleth@hocuslocus.com
Research Institution
 STONY BROOK BIOTECHNOLOGY
 39 ERLAND ROAD
STONY BROOK, NY, 11790-1124
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
Abstract
DESCRIPTION provided by applicant The goal of this Phase I is to develop a prototype for a novel antiviral therapy directed towards Epstein Barr virus based on a novel post transcriptional regulatory mechanism called structurally interacting RNA or sxRNA We are pioneering a revolutionary antiviral approach that uses a viral encoded microRNA miRNA to create specificity even in infections in their latent stage This transient mRNA therapeutic will make it possible to specifically express a protein of interest only in virus infected cells by exploiting post transcriptional regulation of a transgene triggered by the unique miRNA profile of a virus infected cell We have developed a trans RNA switching mechanism called structurally interacting RNA or andquot sxRNAandquot for short that relies on the unique expression of a microRNA to turn andquot onandquot and andquot offandquot the expression of an ectopic gene of choice Certain RNA binding proteins RBPs when bound to mRNA increase translation by several orders of magnitude We have shown that it is possible to create a andquot switchandquot within an mRNA such that a trans interaction with an endogenous miRNA can ablate or stabilize an RBP binding site By coupling this post transcriptional gene regulation with the microRNA signature patterns in cell types sxRNA technology can enable cell specific expression of a desired protein or reporter gene to positively or negatively select for a tissue type disease state or developmental stage sxRNA technology represents a revolutionary way to regulate transient gene expression based on the unique miRNA profile in a cell We propose to develop a novel sxRNA based anti viral directed against Epstein Barr virus EBV an oncovirus In addition to causing infectious mononucleosis EBV is associated with cancers of B cells e g immunocompromised associated B cell lymphomas including Burkitt and Hodgkin lymphomas and epithelial cells e g nasopharyngeal cell carcinoma gastric carcinoma and breast cancer A therapeutic that targets both lytic and latent EBV would make a significant impact on human health and lead to similar therapeutics to other members of the Herpesvirus family PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE The goal of this Phase I is to develop a prototype for a novel antiviral therapy directed towards Epstein Barr virus based on a novel post transcriptional regulatory mechanism called structurally interacting RNA or sxRNA EBV is associated with cancers of B cells e g immunocompromised associated B cell lymphomas including Burkitt and Hodgkin lymphomas and epithelial cells e g nasopharyngeal cell carcinoma gastric carcinoma and breast cancer A therapeutic that targets EBV both lytic and latent EBV would make a significant impact on human health and lead to similar therapeutics to other members of the Herpesvirus family

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

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