SBIR Phase I: Megathura crenulata Post Larval Culture - Bottleneck for a Valuable Medical Resource

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0740238
Agency Tracking Number: 0740238
Amount: $94,633.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: BT
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-551
Small Business Information
417 E. Hueneme Rd. PMB #170, Port Hueneme, CA, 93041
DUNS: 112796581
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Frank Oakes
 (805) 488-2147
Business Contact
 Frank Oakes
Title: BS
Phone: (805) 488-2147
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project develops methods for the reliable control of settlement and metamorphosis of larval stages of Megathura crenulata (the giant keyhole limpet) to support the production of commercial quantities of Keyhole Limpet Hemocyanin (KLH), a unique and medically valuable marine natural product. Unlike many other prospective medical products from marine organisms, KLH is already in extensive use as an immuno-stimulant, including in over 20 KLH-based clinical trials of therapeutic vaccines. KLH is commonly produced from animals harvested from the finite and fragile natural populations of California and Northern Baja California. With the potential success of one or more of these KLH-based cancer vaccines, the commercial market for KLH could exceed $50 million and place extreme pressure on the species. The broader impacts of this research are significant to the development of new medicines and the preservation of a threatened marine species. Therapeutic vaccines are a promising new class of treatment for cancer, arthritis, and other debilitating chronic diseases; several of these vaccines rely on the proven safety and efficacy of KLH?s immuno-stimulatory properties for their therapeutic effects. Although the natural population of M. crenulata cannot sustain the quantities of KLH required for commercial vaccine products, aquaculture technology has the potential to overcome this supply constraint. Reliable methods for controlling the larval stages of the M. crenulata life cycle are the key to large-scale aquaculture, and could eliminate the biomedical industry?s dependence on wild-harvested animals for commercial KLH supplies.

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

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government