Through Technologies

New Inventions

Generic Drug to Treat and Prevent Macular Degenerative Diseases

UW–Madison researchers have identified a new treatment option for a number of macular degenerative diseases including AMD, Stargardt’s disease and juvenile macular dystrophy.

The researchers found that a class of compounds called acid sphingomyelinase inhibitors can be used to fight retinal disorders associated with abnormal accumulations of lipofuscin (a cellular waste product), cholesterol or increased inflammation. One such inhibitor, generic name desipramine, is currently sold on the market as an antidepressant. Other acid sphingomyelinase inhibitors also may be suitable.
(Jun 22, 2015) P140282US02

More Potent UGM Inhibitors for Treating Tuberculosis and Other Microbial Infections

UW–Madison researchers and collaborators have identified a potent set of UGM inhibitors that may help fight tuberculosis and other diseases caused by microbial infections. The compounds contain a bicyclic triazolo thiadiazine core with diversified aromatic substituents. They were identified by virtually screening a database of nearly five million commercially available compounds.

The molecules inhibit the growth of microorganisms that depend on UGM to incorporate Galf residues. They also diminish the virulence of pathogenic microorganisms, such as M. tuberculosis, M. smegmatis and Klebsiella pneumonia, that rely on UGM.
(Jun 2, 2015) P140379US02

Treating Absence Epilepsy with Ganaxolone

UW–Madison researchers have developed a method for treating absence epilepsy with the drug ganaxolone, a synthetic neurosteroid analog that modulates GABAA receptors. The drug has shown promise for treating other forms of epilepsy but has not been recommended for absence epilepsy until now.

The researchers have found that in low doses the drug provides an optimal amount of tonic inhibition that restores function and reduces symptoms in a mouse model. The drug may be particularly useful for treating young patients whose condition is characterized by a reduction in tonic inhibition.
(May 21, 2015) P140051US02

Combination Therapy Kills Cancer Cells

UW–Madison researchers have developed a new cancer treatment that combines a TRAIL receptor agonist with the diabetes drug metformin. Metformin sensitizes even resistant cancer cells to the TRAIL receptor agonists (e.g., lexatumumab) that induce cell death.

Metformin is attractive because its safety has been established over decades in diabetic patients worldwide. As such, there seem to be few barriers to its clinical implementation as a cancer therapeutic in combination with TRAIL receptor agonists. Metformin is commercially available as Glucophage® or in generic form.
(Apr 21, 2015) P140221US02

Predicting Glucoregulatory Dysfunction

UW–Madison researchers have developed a method based on blood lipid chemistry to identify a subject at risk for glucoregulatory dysfunction. The method involves obtaining a biosample from the subject, separating the diacylglycerol fatty acids and determining if the concentration is above or below a control range.
(Feb 26, 2015) P150057US01

New System for Producing Fungal Secondary Metabolites

UW–Madison researchers have developed a new system for producing fungal secondary metabolites using test plasmids and a genetically modified strain of Aspergillus nidulans (TPMW2.3). The strain begins producing secondary metabolites when a gene promoter in the plasmid is triggered by culture conditions. This allows researchers to induce or repress production.
(Feb 16, 2015) P150029US01

Microcavity Method for Single Molecule Spectroscopy

Specifically, the researchers have developed a new microcavity-based method for single molecule/particle spectroscopy. In essence, when an individual molecule or particle lands on the microcavity surface, it absorbs energy from a free space pump laser beam and generates heat. The heat is transferred to the microcavity, causing a shift in resonance frequency and therefore detectable changes in the light (e.g., power or intensity).

The superb sensitivity of the method enables detection, identification and real-time analysis of single molecules and particles. This is exciting because current spectroscopy techniques are limited to matter in the 10 to 100 nanometer size range, such as nanoparticles and viruses.
(Feb 13, 2015) P140153US03

Gemini Surfactant LLC Membranes from Thiol-Ene Polymerizations

The researchers have now developed a new and highly efficient approach for synthesizing crosslinkable Gemini surfactants that can be turned into membranes featuring the desired gyroid morphology.

In the new method, an LLC structure is formed from a mixture containing the functionalized surfactants, a thiol-ene crosslinking agent and a polar solvent. Upon crosslinking, the lyotropic phase morphology is substantially retained.
(Jan 30, 2015) P150015US01

Peptide Mimics Last Longer, Target Protein-Protein Interactions

UW–Madison researchers have developed modified Z-domain peptides that last longer in vivo while retaining strong binding properties. The researchers removed one of the helices and stabilized the remaining two with a disulfide bond. They substituted some residues with alpha and beta amino acid residues; the latter helps resist degradation by proteolytic enzymes.

The α/β-peptide mimics (or foldamers) can be tailored to target a variety of different proteins and protein-protein interactions. Given their small size (39 amino acids) relative to full-length Z-domains (59 amino acids), the new peptide mimics are easier to synthesize and modify.
(Jan 22, 2015) P140148US02

New Protein Production Strategy for Plants

UW–Madison researchers have identified a new plant viral IRES that can facilitate the efficient expression of multiple proteins from a single mRNA. The researchers discovered the new IRES in the Triticum mosaic virus (TriMV), a wheat virus that expresses 10 proteins from a single mRNA strand.
(Jan 9, 2015) P140069US02