Genetically Programmable Spherical Nucleic Acids as Rapidly Adaptable Nanotherapeutics

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W911QX-12-C-0073
Agency Tracking Number: D121-003-0014
Amount: $149,295.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: SB121-003
Solicitation Number: 2012.1
Small Business Information
8045 Lamon Avenue, Skokie, IL, -
DUNS: 968721535
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Giljohann
 Chief Scientific Officer
 (847) 467-2887
Business Contact
 Percy Crocker
Title: VP of Commercial Development
Phone: (847) 467-2885
Research Institution
AuraSense Therapeutics is developing oligonucleotide-modified gold nanoparticles called spherical nucleic acid (SNA) constructs, which are a powerful new way of regulating cellular gene expression. AuraSense Therapeutics will use SNAs as genetically programmable antimicrobial agents in a manner to provide a rapid and effective way to develop next generation antibiotics. The outcome of this work will be a new approach to generating bactericides- a rapidly adaptable genetically programmable nanoparticle therapeutic (RANT). The strategy is designed to be capable of being rapidly re-programmed to counter microbial threats, both natural and engineered. Importantly, our system can be adapted to kill emerging and mutating microbial threats, on-the-fly, by simply changing the oligonucleotide sequence conjugated to the Au NP surface. Because the constructs only change in genetic targeting sequence, it is a way in which to develop new agents without altering major toxicity and biodistribution profiles. As a result, an argument can be made for compassionate use of a new sequence via an abbreviated pharmaceutical development cycle.

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

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