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A genetically engineered immunotoxin incorporating a cytolytic peptide from ant venom

Funding: 2000: $60,908
2001: $62,066
2002: $67,046

Project Member(s): Raison, R.

Funding or Partner Organisation: NSL Health (NSL Health Partner Funds)
Australian Research Council (ARC SPIRT (Strategic Partnerships with Industry Re)

Start year: 2000

Summary: A targeted cytotoxic agent (immunotoxin) using a cytolytic peptide (pilosulin) from ant venom will be developed. In previous studies we produced a unique, recombinant immunotoxin incorporating the bee venom toxin, melittin. While this immunotoxin yielded promising results, there is a clear need to improve the design in order to increase the specific activity to a level where it may be used as a therapeutic agent. As pilosulin is intrinsically more toxic than melittin and has patent protection, we propose that a pilosulin-based immunotoxin will result in a more effective, and commercially viable, reagent for the treatment of selected cancers.

Keywords: immunotoxin; antibody engineering; cytolytic peptides; monoclonal antibody; leukemia therapy

FOR Codes: Biological sciences, Blood disorders, Humoral Immunology and Immunochemistry, Genetic Immunology, Humoural Immunology and Immunochemistry