Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is offering the opportunity to license intellectual property rights to commercialize its technology “Targeted Antimicrobials based on Recombinant Muramidases.”
LLNL researchers have combined a novel approach for using bioinformatics with cell-free expression to identify and characterize a class of proteins that kill Gram-positive bacteria with extremely high specificity. The class of proteins is collectively known as muramidases and represent a potential class of novel antimicrobials for use against other Gram positive and, potentially, against Gram-negative infectious microorganisms.
LLNL has synthesized and purified milligram quantities of two muramidases and developed a cell-based lysis assay to test these proteins. These methods can be generally applied to identify and rapidly screen for similar lytic proteins encoded by other bacterial pathogens that could be further developed as antimicrobial compounds to destroy these pathogens.
These lytic proteins attack the outside of the cells and circumvent mechanisms of antibiotic resistance that are found in many of the so-called drug-resistant superbugs. The lytic proteins can also be used to specifically lyse target bacteria in complex mixtures resulting in rapid, specific, and quantitative release of DNA and other macromolecules from complex mixtures, facilitating development of automated assays that do not require physical disruption techniques for release of these diagnostic molecules.
Potential applications for this technology include:
- Basic biochemical research
- Removing live bacteria for spore isolation
- Treatment and removal of select bacterial pathogens
- Antibody based detection of pathogens
- Surface treatment of instrumentation and hard surfaces; cleaning surgical instruments
- DNA preparative reagent to lyse bacteria
- Additive to topical lotions as antimicrobial agent
- Additive to bandages to kill bacterial pathogens
- Fermentation to remove undesirable bacteria, food additive, or wash to destroy biofilms
- Antimicrobials that destroy resistant pathogens without the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics
LLNL is seeking industry partners with a demonstrated ability to bring such inventions to the market. Moving critical technology beyond the Laboratory to the commercial world helps our licensees gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. All licensing activities are conducted under policies relating to the strict nondisclosure of company proprietary information.