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

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0848952
Agency Tracking Number: 0740238
Amount: $461,566.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
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 (SBIR) Phase II project will develop methods for the control of larval settlement, metamorphosis and postlarval growth of Megathura crenulata (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 in over 20 KLH-based therapeutic vaccine trials. Phase I research successfully identified a critical ""cue"" for settlement of M. crenulata larvae and demonstrated the feasibility of achieving the long-term commercial objectives of this research. Phase II studies will translate the results from Phase I studies into prototype designs for testing and optimization of systems, diets and aquaculture methods for cultivation of the age-specific developmental phases, from metamorphosis to fully developed adults for KLH production. The broader impacts of this research are; 1) The elucidation of the underlying biochemical factors that promote settlement, metamorphosis and early postlarval survival of this carnivorous gastropod thus adding significantly to the body of scientific knowledge in this field and improving the potential for cultivation of other commercially important species with biomedical potential; 2) Providing sustainable commercial supplies of KLH for new, life-saving therapeutic vaccines for cancer, arthritis, hypertension, and other debilitating diseases, without continued dependence on the limited and threatened fishery, and; 3) Providing regulators and resource managers the opportunity to formulate management policies to protect the wild population without imposing limitations on KLH or the important KLH-based vaccines under development.

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

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