Controlling Antibiotic Resistant or Highly Virulent Pathogens Through Plasmid Curing

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W31P4Q-13-C-0062
Agency Tracking Number: D122-001-0013
Amount: $99,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: SB122-001
Solicitation Number: 2012.2
Small Business Information
UES, Inc.
4401 Dayton-Xenia Road, Dayton, OH, -
DUNS: 074689217
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Roland Saldanha
 Principal Investigator
 (513) 558-5623
 rsaldanha@ues.com
Business Contact
 First Last
Title: Director, Contracts
Phone: (937) 426-6900
Email: rweddle@ues.com
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
Group II introns are a novel class of catalytic RNA molecule that are capable of site specific insertion into DNA targets. This property can be reengineered to facilitate site specific DNA integration into a wide range of DNA targets. We intend to exploit this property of group II introns to effect plasmid curing by disrupting critical sequences or proteins responsible for plasmid replication/spread or stable maintenance. In a complimentary approach integration of a group II intron into a plasmid will be used to activate a toxic payload that can systematically sense and destroy plasmid bearing cells. If successful in the initial proposed work, during a phase I option we propose to modify the vector backbones on which the group II introns are delivered to a conjugation based system. Conjugative systems can be quite efficient and in some cases approach near 100% efficiency of plasmid transfer. We will port our expression cassettes to plasmids that can be delivered by live organisms that are permitted to be used as probiotics or have gained FDA approval in an IND.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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