Aptamers for Ante-mortem Diagnostics of Prion Infection

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W81XWH-08-C-0104
Agency Tracking Number: A08A-035-0122
Amount: $99,995.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: A08-T035
Solicitation Number: 2008.A
Small Business Information
303 Bear Hill Road, Waltham, MA, 02451
DUNS: 004627316
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Vladimir Gilman
 Senior Engineer
 (781) 890-1338
Business Contact
 William Thompson
Title: Contracts Manager
Phone: (781) 890-1338
Email: bthompson@infoscitex.com
Research Institution
 Chris Getzelman
 408 Univ Services Center
Fort Collins, CO, 80523-2002
 (970) 491-0439
 Nonprofit college or university
All forms of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) are caused by a unique infectious agent termed “prion”, a proteinaceous pathogen lacking nucleic acid. Prions are actually a misfolded variant of the normal mammalian prion protein, PrPc. Normal disease transmission occurs when prions are ingested by a naive animal. The current test for TSE is a post mortem diagnosis looking for protease-resistant PrPSc in brain tissue by immunohistochemistry. The ante mortem diagnosis of prion disease is complicated due to very low concentration of PrPsc and high presence of PrPc associated with all blood components and serum even in infectious animals. Any blood diagnostic test would need to discriminate pg/mL concentrations of PrPsc from PrPc. To address the need for ante mortem diagnosis of the prion disease the IST and CSU team will attempt detection of the pg quantities of PrPsc /mL directly in bodily fluids using uniquely specific and highly affinitive DNA aptamers developed using our proprietary technology for DNA aptamer production.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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