SBIR Phase I: Novel Microencapsulation for Oral Delivery of Antiviral dsRNA to Shrimp

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0839744
Agency Tracking Number: 0839744
Amount: $95,236.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: BC
Solicitation Number: NSF 08-548
Small Business Information
Aqua Bounty Technologies
935 Main Street, Waltham, MA, 02451
DUNS: 829450667
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Buchanan
 (858) 450-2972
Business Contact
 John Buchanan
Title: PhD
Phone: (858) 450-2972
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will focus on oral delivery of an antiviral treatment for White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV)for use in shrimp aquaculture. This antiviral is based on the concept of RNA inhibition, or RNAi, and is focused on priming the shrimp?s natural antiviral machinery to silence critical genes of the infecting virus, thus preventing spread of viral infection. If successful in proof of concept in Phase I, Phase II research will focus on testing and optimizing oral delivery of RNAi antivirals in response to viral challenges. This research is combines expertise in evaluating therapeutics for shrimp and understanding of RNAi-based approaches for controlling viral infections, with the proprietary technologies for micro-encapsulation to enhance stability and availability of therapeutics. The broader impacts of this research are to address the dire need for antiviral treatments for successful shrimp aquaculture. In particular, White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) will be the first target for a commercial product. WSSV is endemic in the majority of shrimp producing countries, and causes losses of over $1.5 billion annually. The virus can potentially destroy the shrimp output of an entire country as it did in Ecuador in the early part of the century. The oral delivery of RNAi therapeutics to shrimp could be adapted to target other economically damaging viruses. Such technologies for oral delivery of RNAi-based antivirals to shrimp could be the first blockbuster therapeutic in aquaculture. There is a desperate industry need, and a significant commercial opportunity, for innovation in addressing shrimp viral infections.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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