Oligonucleotide Enzyme Surrogate (OnES)
Small Business Information
One Tech Plaza, 2113 Wells Branch Parkway, Suite 6900, Austin, TX, 78728
AbstractNerve agents (NA) such as sarin, soman, tabun or VX are organophosphate compounds similar to those used as pesticides but with much higher toxicity that can cause death within minutes. Use of NA weapons of mass destruction has become a real threat since the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s and the sarin attacks against civilians in Japan in 1994 and 1995. Nerve agents are relatively simple and inexpensive to produce, transport, and deploy and are the most toxic of the known chemical warfare agents. Therefore, there is an increasing threat of their use for terrorist purposes against military and civilian populations. This calls for effective preventive and therapeutic preparedness. Currently available antidotes are not very effective. We propose to develop adaptazymes (catalytic oligonucleotides) that would hydrolyze soman and other NAs and organophosphates. We will partner with Battelle, Texas A&M University and Archemix to develop and market our adaptazyme technology. Such adaptazymes would find commercial application in preventive and therapeutic treatment of NA and organophosphate pesticide poisoning in humans and animals. These adaptazymes would also be very useful for decontamination of environmental deposits of organophosphates.
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