Compounds to Treat and Prevent Viral Infections (Case 2165)

Compound to Treat and Prevent Viral Infections

Polyomaviruses such as JC-polyomavirus (JCV) and BK-polyomavirus (BKV) are a common source of childhood and young adult infection. The majority of these infections cause little or no symptoms and are probably present in most adults. However, among people who are immunosuppressed as a result of AIDS, old age, or organ transplantation, these two polyomaviruses can cause severe disease. We have identified two small molecules that effectively target these polyomaviruses.

Market Opportunity
In immunosuppressed subjects, in particular, the polyomavirus JCV can cause the fatal demyelinating disease progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), and the polyomavirus BKV can cause kidney necrosis and polyomavirus-induced neuropathy (PVN). There are currently no effective vaccines or antiviral therapies that target these viruses. 

Innovation and Meaningful Advantages
We have demonstrated that the small molecules Retro-2 and Retro-2cycl effectively inhibit infection by JCV and BKV, as well as the polyomavirus SV40. Retro-2cycl, in particular, inhibits polyomavirus infection in a similar manner to its effects on ricin and shiga-like toxins, namely, by blocking retrograde trafficking to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) or Golgi. This effect appears to be specific to viruses that use retrograde trafficking, as transduction of cells by an adenovirus pseudovirus is not inhibited by Retro-2cycl. Retro-2cycl not only is an effective antiviral compound, but will also help researchers to further delineate the endocytic pathways used by polyomaviruses to target the ER. It may also potentially be useful for treating and preventing other pathogenic conditions associated with endosomal trafficking.

Collaboration Opportunity
We are interested in exploring 1) startup opportunities with investors; 2) research collaborations with leading pharmaceutical companies to develop this method of treatment and prevention; and 3) licensing opportunities with companies. 

Principal Investigator
Walter J. Atwood, PhD
Professor of Medical Science
Professor of Neurology
Brown University
Brown Tech ID #2165

Neil Veloso
Executive Director, Brown Technology Innovations

IP Information
2017-07-04 US9695156; published.

Nelson CDS, Carney DW, Derdowski A, Lipovsky A, Gee GV, O’Hara B, Williard P, DiMaio D, Sello JK, Atwood WJ. A Retrograde Trafficking Inhibitor of Ricin and Shiga-Like Toxins Inhibits Infection of Cells by Human and Monkey Polyomaviruses. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 12 November 2013;4(6):e00729-13.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Brown Technology Innovations
350 Eddy Street - Box 1949
Providence, RI 02903
Walter Atwood
Jason Sello
Christian Nelson
Daniel Carney
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