Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Pathogen Identification using Novel Photo-Activated Glycan-Array

Technology #2003

“Lead Inventors: Denong Wang, Ph.D., Pavol Kovac Ph.D., Lawrence Steinman Ph.D., Nicholas Turro Ph.D., and Jeffrey Koberstein Ph.D.

Tech Ventures Reference: IR 1985, 2003

Disease Identification by Identifying Antibodies Limited by Pathogen Surface Protein Changes Conventional approaches to disease identification often involve identifying resultant antibodies from infection. These antibodies can identify pathogens from their unique protein and carbohydrate antigens. Standard diagnosis equipment has focused on identifying antibodies reacting to pathogen’s protein antigens. However, the effectiveness of these approaches is limited by the pathogen’s ability to rapidly rearrange their surface proteins, obfuscating clear diagnosis. Conversely, carbohydrates are both less mutable than proteins, and are specific to each pathogen, as opposed to the host. By targeting the complex sugars pathogens carry on their surfaces rather than resident proteins, scientists are hoping to develop more effective diagnosis and vaccines.

Immunoassays for Diagnosis of Anthrax Spore Infection The authors report the first identification of immunogenic sugar moieties of anthrax spores using their proprietary photo-activated glycan array. Anthrose-containing saccharides were found to be highly specific to anthrax spores (B. Anthracis), and present on the outer most surfaces of the spores. Identification of specific sugar-based moieties as antigenic determinants could be used for detection and diagnosis of anthrax as well as any other number of pathogens (e.g., MRSA) with specific oligosaccharide signatures. This can further lead to the development of novel next generation vaccines for anthrax and other pathogens.

– Development of immunoassays for pathogen specific carbohydrates
– Development of immunoassays for diagnosis of anthrax spore infection
– Commercialization of photo-activated glycan array which can be used to study other pathogens

– First identification of highly specific immunogenic sugar moieties of anthrax spores
– Authors have developed, optimized, and characterized glycan-array technology
– Versatility in array technology to study other pathogens
– Sugars can be synthesized artificially
– Sugars are pathogen specific and should exhibit no host cross-reaction

Patent Status: Patent Pending (20100331198) ~ see link below.

Licensing Status: Available for Licensing and Sponsored Research Support

Publications: Photogenerated glycan arrays identify immunogenic sugar moieties of Bacillus anthracis exosporium. Proteomics 2007 7(2) 180-184
” Patent No. 8,658,573