Small Molecule Inhibitors of C. perfringens Epsilon-Toxin

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2R44AI074105-02
Agency Tracking Number: AI074105
Amount: $741,493.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2007-2
Small Business Information
DUNS: 169174146
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 (703) 622-5749
Business Contact
Phone: (703) 622-5749
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): C. perfringens epsilon-toxin (ETX) is a potential biological weapon included in the list of category B priority agents. The overall goal of this proposal is to identify and perform in vivo testing of new inhibitors of E TX using a novel approach for the inactivation of pore-forming toxins developed at Innovative Biologics, Inc. It is based on the blocking of the target pore with molecules having the same symmetry as the pore itself. Results from our SBIR Phase I project d emonstrated that beta-cyclodextrin derivatives designed to block the transmembrane channel formed by epsilon-toxin can inhibit its cytotoxicity at low micromolar concentrations. Based on the successful completion of this feasibility study, we propose to de sign, synthesize and screen a library of beta-cyclodextrin derivatives for inhibitors of epsilon-toxin's activity and test selected lead compounds in mice. The specific aims of this Phase II study are: (1) Optimize the assay for testing the ability of beta -cyclodextrin derivatives to inhibit the cytotoxic activity of C. perfringens epsilon-toxin. (2) Utilize initial testing data in concert with pharmaceutical chemistry to design and synthesize a biased library of beta- cyclodextrin derivatives with an enhan ced affinity to the epsilon-toxin pore. (3) Screen the library using the cell-based assay to select the most potent inhibitors and test their ability to block the pore formed by ETX. (4) Perform toxicity, pharmacokinetic and efficacy tests in mice challeng ed with epsilon-toxin using at least three compounds to select in vivo validated leads. In the long-term, subsequent pre-clinical and clinical studies will lead to the development of a new drug against C. perfringens epsilon-toxin. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Epsilon toxin produced by Clostridium perfringens is one of the most lethal bacterial toxins. It is regarded as a potential biological weapon and is included in the list of category B priority agents. Currently, there is no effective treatment for the 5-t oxin-mediated intoxication; therefore, a great need exists for the development of therapeutics against this biodefense toxin.

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

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