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University of York
We have developed a system that provides the means to target specific viruses by reducing the efficiency and accuracy of genome/capsid assembly, paving the way for discovery of new prophylactic and treatment options in plants, animals and humans.
Viruses are well-documented pathogens of humans, animals and plants. We have developed a method that provides for a novel approach to interfere with virus propagation within infected hosts.
The genetic material of each functional virus particle (virion) is enclosed by coat protein subunits arranged into a specialised structure, the capsid, whose correct assembly is an essential step in viral lifecycles and a major factor in determining the overall fitness of the virion in the infection process. Agents that perturb capsid assembly can, therefore, reduce virus infectivity and might enhance immune system recognition and clearance of virions by increasing the accessibility of antigenic determinants or viral RNAs.
In single stranded RNA viruses, capsid assembly and genome packaging are spontaneous coupled processes, mediated by interactions between coat proteins and specific viral RNA sequence elements, known as packaging signals. Packaging signal sequences and their secondary structures are degenerate and they cannot be identified by sequence analysis alone.
We have developed a system that combines molecular biology and in silico approaches to enable identification of such packaging signals and the development of nucleic acid and small molecule compounds that interfere with them, for therapeutic effect. Our initial exemplars, for which a patent application has been filed, include:
Human Parecho Virus (HPeV)
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV)
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)
Turnip Crinkle Virus (TCV)
Cowpea Chlorotic Mottle virus (CCMV)
Brome Mosaic virus (BMV)
Satellite Tobacco Necrosis Virus (STNV)
We are seeking commercial licensees and/or co-development partners for our disclosed panel of virus targets and also for other medically and commercially significant single stranded RNA viruses.
Informal enquiries are welcomed, but we would seek to put in place confidentiality agreements with parties requiring access to specific data relating to our disclosed panel of virus targets, or to others that we are working on, but have yet to disclose.
Type of Business Relationship Sought
Commercial collaboration enquiries aimed at exploring and developing the potential of this technology are welcomed. Stand-alone licence deal proposals will also be considered.
Last Updated Sep 2014