Industry Relations and Technology Transfer

Featured Breakthroughs from Fred Hutch

The Industry Relations and Technology Transfer Office is the bridge linking world-class discoveries and inventions of Fred Hutch scientists with the companies and external resources necessary to bring these inventions to clinical and commercial use. Contact us to learn more.

Featured Breakthroughs

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Accurate, Sensitive and Targeted Sequencing Technologies 

Opportunity:

Several new sequencing technologies combine to provide a foundational platform for the detection and sequencing of rare mutations and rare cells with extraordinary sensitivity and accuracy. For the first time, this enables sensitive blood-based sequencing of mutations in circulating cancer cells to provide highly informative personalized diagnostic testing with DNA sequence-level precision.

Features and Advantages:

  • Detects rare mutations in complex populations of cells or complex mixtures of DNA
  • Provides greater than a million-fold reduction in error rates
  • Provides greater than a thousand-fold increase in sensitivity for detecting rare mutants in CTCs or other mixed populations of cells or DNAs
  • Enables high-order multiplexed enrichment of selected targets

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Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD) Targets

Opportunity:

Proprietary drug leads that are potential first-in-class, broad-spectrum antibiotics inhibiting both DNA gyrase and RecBCD/AddAB DNA repair enzymes.  The lead compounds may have the potential to treat difficult infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and are less likely to become ineffective due to drug resistance.

Features and Advantages:

  • RecBCD and AddAB are essential DNA repair enzymes widely distributed in bacteria but absent from eukaryotes
  • RecBCD is required for the induction of SOS mutations, which causes resistance to antibiotics
  • No inhibitors specific for this class of enzymes exist to date.

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Broad Spectrum Anti-Bacterial Drugs

Opportunity:

Proprietary drug leads that are potential first-in-class, broad-spectrum antibiotics inhibiting both DNA gyrase and RecBCD/AddAB DNA repair enzymes.  The lead compounds may have the potential to treat difficult infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and are less likely to become ineffective due to drug resistance.

Features and Advantages:

  • RecBCD and AddAB are essential DNA repair enzymes widely distributed in bacteria but absent from eukaryotes
  • RecBCD is required for the induction of SOS mutations, which causes resistance to antibiotics
  • No inhibitors specific for this class of enzymes exist to date.

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Improved Screening Platform and New Cancer Therapeutic Targets

Opportunity:

An efficient high-throughput screening platform for discovery and validation of potential cancer drug targets through oncogene synthetic lethal interactions which involve expression of recombinant activated oncogenes of interests and/or inhibition of tumor suppressors in human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF).  Several novel potential therapeutic targets for Myc-driven and p53 mutant cancers have been identified.

Features and Advantages:

  • Uses HFF, which do not respond with senescence to expression of activated oncogenes, in functional genomics screening while providing a normal isogenic background
  • “Druggable” genes that exhibit a synthetic lethal interaction with MYC overexpression have been identified, circumventing the need for inhibitors to MYC which do not have “druggable” domains
  • Genes identified from the screening may constitute biomarkers to guide therapeutic choices or suggest drug combinations

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New Class of Drug Leads 

Opportunity:

Fred Hutch scientists are developing a new class of drug scaffolds capable of targeting protein-protein interactions.  These proprietary drug leads may act as targeting agents for specific imaging and therapeutic applications.

Features and Advantages:

  • Small, stable drug leads that can be readily engineered to optimize drug-like properties
  • Scaffolds that can cross the blood-brain barrier and can evade immunosurveillance
  • Provide sufficient size – “mid-sized drugs” – to target crucial protein-protein interactions
  • Facilitate optimization of drug parameters such as potency, selectivity, pharmacokinetics, and distribution

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Cord Blood Transplantation 

Opportunity:          

Breakthrough advances in cord blood stem cell expansion, banking, and therapeutic application provide the foundation for an off-the-shelf product to significantly improve cord blood transplantation.

Features and Advantages:

  • Methods for ex vivo cord blood stem cell expansion provide more than a 100-fold increase in stem cell numbers
  • Enables cryopreservation and use for cord blood transplantation without the need for HLA matching
  • Proven to enhance hematopoietic recovery in a phase I clinical trial

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