SBIR Phase I: A Platform for Anthelmintic Drug Discovery using DAF-12 as a Novel Target

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$150,000.00
Award Year:
2013
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
1315836
Agency Tracking Number:
1315836
Solicitation Year:
2012
Solicitation Topic Code:
BC
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Knudra Diagnostics
5201 S Green St., Ste. 140, Salt Lake City, UT, 84123
Hubzone Owned:
Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
078508745
Principal Investigator:
Christopher Hopkins
(385) 202-3854
chopkins@knudra.com
Business Contact:
Christopher Hopkins
(385) 202-3854
chopkins@knudra.com
Research Institution:
Stub




Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project creates a drug-screening platform for discovery of new antiparasitic drugs. Resistance to current drug treatments is on the rise. New antiparasitic drugs under development are mostly focused on neurotransmission targets, yet a new target has recently emerged, the daf-12 gene. Knudra uses a core expertise in nematode bioengineering to insert parasite genes into the C. elegans roundworm. Drug candidates are found against the parasite gene by the use of biosensor backgrounds, which use fluorescent gene-expression reporters that turn red upon detection of antiparasitic activity. Phase I feasibility is demonstrated when known agonist and antagonist of DAF-12 elicit expected activity on the parasite gene. The platform may then be used to screen compound libraries to find candidates for anthelmintic use. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project, if successful, will be the creation of a screening platform for finding antiparasitics to help in the battle against important diseases such as elephantiasis, river blindness, trichinosis, Enterobiasis (pinworm), and parasitic infections in livestock and crops. Parasitic infection in livestock and humans currently are treated with more than 20 drugs on the market, but some are toxic and carry black box warnings. Food and health security throughout the world would be enhanced with the development of new antiparasites that are safer and more effective. In addition, the technology will help to bring clarity of understanding to the biology of infective-state formation in parasite lifecycle.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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