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Available Life Science Technologies

Therapeutics, Diagnostics & Human Health

Traditional vaccines use a high dose of antigen to elicit an antibody response, which is ineffective against many intracellular diseases. This technology uses an extremely low dose of peptides from the target disease, creating a T-cell response to provide improved protection. Further, the use of synthetic peptides allows for a lower cost and safer formulation than many existing vaccines. Numerous infectious diseases that lack sufficient (or any) preventative or therapeutic treatments are candidate targets, including tuberculosis, influenza, norovirus, dengue fever, malaria and many animal diseases. Cancers and autoimmune disorders could also be candidates. Overview | U.S. Patent 8,647,636 | U.S. Patent Application

There is a continuing need in point-of-care (POC) and clinical settings for more rapid and accurate testing to detect protein biomarkers of disease. Current methods of protein detection in bodily fluids can be costly, inaccurate, and time consuming. This technology yields quick, quantitative results with no significant sample preparation. Overview | U.S. Patent Application

These novel particulate biosensors are capable of wireless, continuous, and highly sensitive detection of multiple target pathogens in a variety of environments. Rapid detection of less than 50 bacteria per mL has been demonstrated for five different pathogens. Detection has also been shown in complex media, including  food effluent and milk. This technology has potential utility in point-of-care medical diagnostics as well as non-medical applications. Overview | U.S. Patent 7,759,134 | U.S. Patent Application #1 | U.S. Patent Application #2

Heat stress can affect the body’s defenses and barriers to bacteria, allowing microbes in the gut to slip past and enter the blood, organs, or other areas and induce inflammation and other immune responses. A new probiotic has been shown to help maintain the integrity of the intestinal lining and block the movement of microbes from the gut into blood during heat stress. Such protection could be beneficial for athletes, workers, soldiers, animals, and others. Overview

Successful disinfection of contact lenses is of the utmost importance in the prevention of the spread of pathogenic bacterial infection to the user. Many solutions today fail to provide effective antimicrobial properties. This water soluble N-halamine compound acts as a powerful disinfectant that thoroughly kills microbes in a contact lenses soaking solution. The effectiveness and stability of this compound has been demonstrated, and it has also been shown to be non-bleaching towards dyes found in many contact lenses. Overview | U.S. Patent Application

PCR has become a benchmark tool in clinical diagnostics by offering high sensitivity and specificity for nucleic acid detection of pathogens. Real-time PCR, which uses fluorescent detection of PCR products, has substantial improvements over standard PCR. This quick, adaptable and highly sensitive real-time PCR method has applications in molecular diagnostics, clinical microbiology, and genetic typing
Immediate non-exclusive licensing for most fields of use is available through Auburn's Ready-to-Sign program Overview | U.S. Patent No. 7,252,937

This versatile drug delivery platform can control and modulate the release of a single therapeutic or multiple therapeutics in response to a variety of stimuli.  Small molecule drugs and nucleic acid therapeutics (e.g., RNAi) can be incorporated into injectable particulate or implantable drug systems in such a way as to release the drugs under certain conditions.  A single formulation can incorporate different drugs that are released at different rates. Overview | U.S. Patent Application

Novel Form of Cellulose For Use as Pharmaceutical Excipient

This new form of non-crystalline cellulose exhibits physical properties drastically different from a-cellulose and MCC. These unique properties include changes in morphology, surface area, porosity, crystallinity, bioavailability and water absorption. A patent has been issued for its use as a pharmaceutical excipient.  In vitro experiments have shown unique and desirable release characteristics which could improve formulations for certain drugs, including analgesics. U.S. Patent 7,977,473

There is a need for an easily assembled targeted drug carrier particle that has efficient assembly/conjugation, proper binding characteristics and can be efficiently produced on a large scale. This invention utilizes landscape phage proteins, which can be screened to specifically bind to a variety of targets, and their intrinsic ability to become spontaneously associated with micelles and liposomes. Overview | U.S. Patent 8,137,693 | U.S. Patent 8,252,324

Targeted delivery of siRNA and other nucleic acids

This technology leverages the inherit properties of phage proteins to provide targeted delivery of nucleic acids to cells. Phage proteins, which naturally bind to nucleic acids in the native virus, are complexed with the nucleic acid to be delivered, such as an siRNA. This complex provides protection for the nucleic acid as well as a targeting mechanism via the biorecognition properties of the phage proteins. U.S. Patent Application 20130202679

Proteon nucleating centers (PNCs) consist of 1- to 2-nm nanoparticles that contain 40–300 non-ionic metal atoms. These nanoclusters have been shown to scavenge misfolded proteins to form proteons: clusters of up to 100,000 protein molecules with metal centers. Thus, PNCs have tremendous potential in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases associated with misformed proteins, including prion-related diseases, neurological diseases, blood diseases and cancer.
Immediate non-exclusive licensing in most fields of use available through Auburn's Ready-to-Sign program License Agreement | U.S. Patent No. 7,138,255 (Parent)
Video of glioma cells treated with PNCs

Increasing evidence suggests that ubiquitin ligases play a role during progression of several neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Huntingdon’s, Parkinson’s and ALS. Auburn has developed a highly selective inhibitor of TRAF6, an E3 ubiquitin ligase. The use of this inhibitor is expected to be of interest as a reagent, as a pharmacological tool and as a therapeutic. Overview | U.S. Patent No. 7,491,501

Biomarker for Neurodegenerative and Metabolic Disorders

The p62 protein has been identified as the significant contributor to several metabolic pathways that lead to metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and other related diseases. This invention provides a method for detecting the level (or absence of) the p62 protein as a diagnostic tool. A pharmaceutical composition is also contemplated for therapeutic supplementation. U.S. Patent 7,608,412

 

Biotechnology

Multiple agents commonly found on most working surfaces attack RNA, making nucleic acid-based research and testing difficult. This detection system can be used as a simple and convenient kit to detect RNA degrading agents within minutes instead of hours. The 2011 global market for nucleic acids tools was $6 billion, suggesting that such a kit could have significant commercial potential. Overview

Osmotin, a protein derived from certain plants, has known antimicrobial, antifungal and therapeutic applications. Unfortunately, practical production levels have been elusive due to osmotin's growth inhibiting effects on the bacteria cultures designed to produce it. This novel approach solves this problem and may enable large scale production of the protein. U.S. Patent No. 8,357,509

These self-plasticizing copolymers allow for the assessment of a wide variety of ions without experiencing the negative effects of leaching, typically caused from using plasticizers. The key application for these sensors are for the detection of low levels of ions in bodily fluids for medical testing and research.
Up to seven U.S. patents related to ion sensing are available for immediate non-exclusive licensing through Auburn's Ready-to-Sign program Overview

This patch clamp technique utilizes a laser source to generate a voltage across the membrane of target cells. This voltage generation allows for detailed studies of ion channel activity and throughput levels not currently achievable by other methods. This technology has potential applications in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, neuroscience and nanotechnology.
Immediate non-exclusive licensing available through our Ready-to-Sign program Overview | U.S. Patent No. 7,807,042

Biological materials can be preserved for extended periods -- even at room temperature -- by simply adding an aqueous polymer solution and drying to a film. The sample can then be fully restored with water. This solves many of the problems with current preservation methods such as dehydration of the sample, expense, and use of cumbersome cryogenics or toxic materials.
Immediate non-exclusive licensing available through our Ready-to-Sign program Overview | Video of bacteria preservation and recovery after two weeks
U.S. Patent No. 7,022,514 | U.S. Patent No. 7,473,550 | U.S. Patent No. 7,604,807

This work is the first demonstration of the use of landscape phage as recognition elements for biosensors. As superior substitutes for antibodies, phage exhibit many features such as high affinity, field stability, and low cost that show utility in a variety of real-time applications.
Immediate non-exclusive licensing available through our Ready-to-Sign program Overview | U.S. Patent 7,267,993 | U.S. Patent 7,670,765 | Related U.S. Patent: 7,138,238

This system and method for observing, collecting and analyzing olfactory characteristics of human or animal subjects produces data that can then be compared to various standards, providing a quantitative tool to study breathing patterns and quality. This technology has potential applications in clinical diagnostics and research tools, and has been exclusively licensed for canine-based detection. Overview | U.S. Patent No. 6,979,298

The widespread meat species adulteration found in heat-processed meat products and retail meat markets can have serious health consequences. These monoclonal antibodies are capable of meat species identification in raw and cooked meats and thus can detect species substitution. Additionally, they are useful indicators of end-point cooking temperature. Overview | U.S. Patent No. 6,288,215 | U.S. Patent No. 7,344,848 (end point)

 

Agriculture

Proprietary bacterial strains isolated at Auburn have been shown to control commercially relevant diseases -- including reduced mortality -- in multiple species of farmed fish. The strains are amenable to scale-up and various types of formulations, including feed. Patent applications are active in the U.S. and 10 international territories. Overview | U.S. Patent Application

The Reniform nematode is a serious pest to cotton and pineapple farmers, blamed for over $100 MM in damages in 2006 in three US states alone. Resistant plant varieties and nematicide options are limited and shrinking. A fungus has been discovered that colonizes and kills all observed life stages of this nematode pest. Application of fungal spores to the soil or as a seed coating could help manage nematode levels, minimize damage to plant roots, and increase yield. Overview

Currently, the accuracy of precipitation estimates can vary widely due to location and insufficient historical data. To address this issue, a statistical approach has been developed to estimate past rainfall levels using archived radar data. This technology could help weather insurance companies better assess customer claims and also build policies that better reflect the risk of severe weather. Overview

The poultry industry has been criticized in recent years for its waste management practices. To address this, Auburn has developed a web-based, user-friendly poultry litter management system. The program makes it easy for farmers to sell excess litter and adhere to guidelines for using litter as fertilizer. This system can be adapted for use by growers of organic farms, switch grass, corn, or other biomass products. Overview

Treatment For Controlling Pests and Weeds

This patent is focused on the use of 2-propenal and related compounds for controlling both pests and weeds on or around plants, particularly crop plants such as grains and vegetables. The active compounds can be delivered during routine irrigation. U.S. Patent No. 7,462,579

 

Veterinary

Traditional vaccines use a high dose of antigen to elicit an antibody response, which is ineffective against many intracellular diseases. This technology uses an extremely low dose of peptides from the target disease, creating a T-cell response to provide improved protection. Further, the use of synthetic peptides allows for a lower cost and safer formulation than many existing vaccines. Numerous infectious diseases that lack sufficient (or any) preventative or therapeutic treatments are candidate targets, including tuberculosis, influenza, norovirus, dengue fever, malaria and many animal diseases. Cancers and autoimmune disorders could also be candidates. Overview | U.S. Patent 8,647,636 | U.S. Patent Application

Columnaris disease can affect nearly all freshwater fish and causes millions of dollars in annual losses for U.S. catfish farmers alone. An improved vaccine has now been developed using bacteria derived from a highly virulent strain. The vaccine has been shown to give superior protection to catfish and tilapia, and has possible applications in salmon, trout, and other farmed fresh water fish. Overview

Heat stress can affect the body’s defenses and barriers to bacteria, allowing microbes in the gut to slip past and enter the blood, organs, or other areas and induce inflammation and other immune responses. A new probiotic has been shown to help maintain the integrity of the intestinal lining and block the movement of microbes from the gut into blood during heat stress. Such protection could be beneficial for athletes, workers, soldiers, animals, and others. Overview