A Gene to Transcriptome Association Platform for Drug Target Identification


Reference #: 01465

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for A Gene to Transcriptome Association platform for drug target identification


Data accumulation through genomic and transcriptomic analyses require novel tools/strategies for the extraction of biologically relevant and clinically useful information. A major limitation of existing approaches is that they focus on the magnitude of differential expression between groups, a strategy that is restricted when specimens from human, genetically diverse populations are studied. We developed a strategy that extracts meaningful information relying on the evaluation of coordination in gene expression and of its loss (or gain) in disease. This strategy is capable of identifying disease relevant targets even when their expression is minimally induced or suppressed in disease. We have applied this approach in publicly available data and data and generated by us on liver disease, and on publicly available data on the frailty syndrome in people. The validity of our strategy has been confirmed by. the identification, in all cases of gene targets that are known to operate as such. In addition, A list of novel targets for hepatic steatosis has been discovered.

Invention Description:

Differential expression analyses provide a powerful strategy to identify disease-related genes and unveil molecular targets for drug development. Such approach though suffers when specimens from genetically diverse individuals are analyzed. In order to address this limitation, we developed a strategy that instead of differential expression it focuses on the coordination of gene transcripts at the whole transcriptome level, and of its loss when disease emerges. With this strategy genes that abolish or gain coordination with a transcriptome, specifically in disease, emerge as targets for drug development.

Potential Applications: 

Among the gene targets discovered by our strategy for the treatment of hepatic steatosis and other related conditions are: 1. Sema4d – For this gene blocking antibodies developed for cancer management (by Vaccinex) 2. Vav1- An inhibitor is already available named Azathioprine (Imuran) for rheumatoid arthritis, granulomatosis with polyangiitis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and in kidney transplants 3. Sox18 - An inhibitor is already available named R(+)-propranolol [Inderal (Beta blocker)-racemic mixture or R(+) and S(-) enantiomers/reportedly the S(-) is more potent than the R(+) for the indicated conditions, high blood pressure, irregular heart rate, thyrotoxicosis, capillary hemangiomas, performance anxiety, and essential tremors]

Advantages and Benefits:

A completely new strategy for target identification.

Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Gene to Transcriptome Association Platform for Drug Target Identification Utility United States 17/221,003   4/2/2021     Filed
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Ioulia Chatzistamou
Hippokratis Kiaris
Youwen Zhang
artificial intelligence
drug discovery
target identification
© 2024. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Inteum