Targeted Bifunctional Fusion Proteins for Biomedical Treatments

Technology #16440

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Image Keselowsky 16440_Bifunctional Fusion Protein Binds to Carbohydrates to Deliver Targeted Therapeutics
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Researchers
Benjamin G. Keselowsky, Ph. D.
Benjamin G. Keselowsky, Ph. D., is an associate professor in the engineering department at the University of Florida and also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Immunology and Regenerative Medicine. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of South Florida, and his Ph.D. in bioengineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Keselowsky’s research focuses on engineering biomaterial cell interactions and targeted, controlled release of immune modulating factors to direct immune cell function.
External Link (technologylicensing.research.ufl.edu)
Gregory Hudalla, Ph. D.
Gregory Hudalla, Ph. D., is an assistant professor at the University of Florida, and was previously a National Institute of Health NRSA post-doctoral surgery fellow at the University of Chicago. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and both his master’s degree and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Hudalla’s research creates functional materials for therapeutic or diagnostic applications via molecular self-assembly.
Evelyn R. Bracho-Sanchez
Evelyn R. Bracho-Sanchez, is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering under the mentorship of Professor Benjamin Keselowsky. She earned her bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering from the University of Florida in 2012. Her research interest include biomaterials for immunomodulation, particularly targeted enzyme delivery for amelioration of inflammation.
Antonietta Restuccia
Antonietta Restuccia, is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida. She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Florida. Her research interests focus on glycosylated self-assembling materials to target and inhibit galectins.
Margaret Fettis
Margaret Fettis, is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida. She received her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at the University of Rochester and completed post-baccalaureate research in the Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Fettis’ research interests are protein and materials engineering for applications in immunomodulation. Fettis believes creative engineering can solve any biological problem.
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Zahara M. Jaffer
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Delivers Therapeutics or Diagnostics to Targeted Cells or Tissues to Treat Disease, Suppress Inflammation, Promote Wound Healing or Aid in Diagnoses to Modify Localized Cellular Metabolism

Introduction

This bifunctional fusion protein binds to carbohydrates to deliver targeted therapeutic or diagnostic agents to cellular hosts, which can suppress inflammation, promote wound healing and treat disease. The targeted therapeutics and diagnostics markets are estimated to generate well over $100 billion annually; the market should reach $150 billion by 2021. Available treatments to suppress inflammation, treat cancer or promote wound healing are systemic, affecting unintended tissue and causing unwanted side effects. Targeting specific cells with an effector domain eliminates those problems.

Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a bifunctional fusion protein with a carbohydrate binding targeting domain linked to an effector domain to deliver therapeutics or diagnostics to specified cells. Modifications to the identity of the effector domain can create targeted therapeutics with a broad range of functions, such as catalysis, receptor binding or activation as well as create localized biomedical diagnostics. Likewise, varying the identity of the targeting domain could enable fusion protein binding to carbohydrates to target specific tissues or tissue in a specific state of health or disease.

Application

Bifunctional fusion protein to deliver targeted biomedical therapeutics or diagnostics

Advantages

  • Therapeutics or diagnostics target specific cells, reducing side effects to bystander tissues during treatment
  • Targeting and effector domain identities can be modified, creating additional biomedical applications
  • Can be administered as a single water-soluble entity or as a component of a more complex formulation, broadening treatment possibilities

Technology

This bifunctional fusion protein binds to a carbohydrate to deliver therapeutics or diagnostics to targeted cellular hosts. The fusion protein has both a targeting domain with carbohydrate-binding properties and an effector domain that has either therapeutic or diagnostic properties. By modifying the effector or targeting domains, researchers have demonstrated in in vitro and in vivo experiments the ability to create targeted therapeutics with a broad range of functional capabilities as well as the ability to selectively bind to carbohydrates that target specific tissues or tissue states (such as diseased tissue vs. healthy tissue).