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Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing

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National Institutes of Health, Public Health Service, DHHS.




The inventions listed below are owned by agencies of the U.S. Government and are available for licensing in the U.S. in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 207 to achieve expeditious commercialization of results of federally-funded research and development. Foreign patent applications are filed on selected inventions to extend market coverage for companies and may also be available for licensing.


Licensing information and copies of the U.S. patent applications listed below may be obtained by writing to the indicated licensing contact at the Office of Technology Transfer, National Institutes of Health, 6011 Executive Boulevard, Suite 325, Rockville, Maryland 20852-3804; telephone: 301/496-7057; fax: 301/402-0220. A signed Confidential Disclosure Agreement will be required to receive copies of the patent applications.

Imaging of Extracellular Proteases in Cells Using Mutant Anthrax Toxin Protective Antigens

Bugge et al. (NIDCR)

DHHS Reference No. E-295-01/0 filed 05 Sep 2001

Licensing Contact: Richard Rodriguez; 301/496-7056 ext. 287; e-mail:

The claimed invention provides highly specific and sensitive methods for in vivo, in vitro, or ex vivo imaging of specific extracellular protease activity using an anthrax binary toxin system. The system targets cells that express extracellular proteases of interest. Such a system would be highly useful since various studies have demonstrated a positive correlation between the activity of extracellular proteases and various diseases and undesirable physiological conditions. For example, breakdown of the extracellular matrix by extracellular proteases is a prerequisite for the invasive growth of malignant cells, metastatic spread of tumors, and other pathological remodeling of tissue. In this case, methods are provided for the imaging of a specific extracellular protease by contacting a cell with: (1) A mutant anthrax toxin protective antigen (mPrAg) that binds to a cell surface receptor of a cell expressing an extracellular protease and is cleaved by a specific extracellular protease expressed by the cell and (2) a ligand that specifically binds to the cleaved mPrAg and is linked to a moiety that is detected by an imaging procedure, thereby forming a ligand-mPrAg complex that is translocated into the cell. The detectable moiety linked to the ligand in the ligand-mPrAg complex can be imaged before, during, or after translocation. Specific disease examples might include, but are not necessarily limited to, cancer, inflammation, and tumor progression or regression.

Neural Crest-Melanocyte cDNA Based Microarray Analysis for Human Skin Pigmentation Research

William Pavan and Stacie K. Loftus (NHGRI)

DHHS Reference No. E-014-02/0

Licensing Contact: Pradeep Ghosh; 301/496-7736 ext. 211; e-mail:

Microarrays have wide applications in basic research and are used for the discovery of candidate genes as markers for disease and for therapeutic intervention. This invention pertains to the identification of a set of neural crest-melanocyte (NC-M) genes through microarray analysis and informatic analysis. Utilizing the extensive sequence information in the expressed sequence tag database (dbEST), the specific set of cDNA sequence was identified for microarray analysis of melanocyte function and diseases. This integrated technique of sequencing with bioinformatics led to the discovery of novel genes. The cDNA sequences selected in this invention are differently expressed in neural crest melanocyte derivates relative to non-neural derived samples. Given that many of the neural-crest melanocyte genes are expressed at embryonic stages of neural crest-melanocyte development, the gene set identified in this invention should provide a useful tool for the analysis of patterns of transcriptional regulation of NC-M development. Thus, this technology will be useful for the characterization of altered expression patterns in diseases such as melanoma. Further, this new microarray research tool has been developed using the set of genes that are likely to be involved in the control of human skin pigmentation. The microarray system utilizing these genes is of significant importance in identifying small molecules that may modulate their activity leading to alterations in human skin pigmentation. Therefore, this invention is significantly useful to the researchers to study alterations in human skin pigment amount and type.

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Dated: November 29, 2001.

Jack Spiegel,

Director, Division of Technology Development and Transfer, Office of Technology Transfer, National Institutes of Health.

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[FR Doc. 01-30515 Filed 12-10-01; 8:45 am]