Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Therapeutics & Vaccines
Therapeutics Vaccines
Method for Synthesizing Beta-Polypeptides from Functionalized Beta-Lactam Monomers
WARF: P06009US

Inventors: Samuel Gellman, Sarah Lee, Mehmet Ilker, Bernard Weisblum, Shannon Stahl, Denis Kissounko

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a robust method for the large-scale synthesis of beta-peptides.
Oligomers and polymers comprised of beta-amino acids, known as beta-peptides, can adopt stable secondary structures that mimic natural peptides. These non-natural compounds are resistant to enzymatic degradation and often exhibit important biological activity. However, large-scale synthesis of beta-peptides is difficult because standard methods involve step-wise, residue-by-residue synthesis.
The Invention
UW-Madison researchers have developed a robust method for making large quantities of poly-beta-peptides under mild and controllable conditions. The method involves polymerizing beta-lactams in an organic solvent. At least one of the monomers may comprise a fused, bicyclic beta-lactam moiety. A base initiator and a non-metal-containing co-initiator, such as an anhydride, are also present. This process was successfully used to synthesize a series of beta-peptide homopolymers and co-polymers, many of which exhibited antimicrobial activity.
  • Large-scale synthesis of beta-peptides, which potentially are useful as antimicrobial coatings, anti-viral agents and disinfectants/household cleaners, and for gene delivery and water treatment
Key Benefits
  • Allows rapid synthesis of large quantities of small- to medium-molecular weight poly-beta-peptides
  • Constitutes a versatile and robust synthetic method
  • Uses common, inexpensive reagents
  • Allows precise control over polymerization process and resulting product
  • May be used to synthesize beta-peptides of different architectures, including homopolymers, random and block co-polymers, and terminally-functionalized polymers
  • Enables systematic fabrication of random and block co-polymers using different combinations of beta-lactam monomers
  • Provides an efficient means for optimizing the biological activity of beta-peptides
  • Provides poly-beta-polypeptides that contain a variety of functionalized side chains
  • Provides poly-beta-peptides with controlled solubility properties and narrow molecular weight distributions
  • Provides polymers with good antibacterial activity which do not lyse, or destroy, red blood cells
Additional Information
For More Information About the Inventors
For current licensing status, please contact Rafael Diaz at [javascript protected email address] or 608-960-9847