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Researchers Granted Patent for Amyloidosis Diagnosis and Treatment
Alan Solomon, MD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Human Immunology and Cancer Program; Jonathan Wall, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Human Immunology and Cancer Program and Director of the Preclinical and Diagnostic Molecular Imaging Laboratory; and their co-investigators at the UT Graduate School of Medicine were recently granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office entitled, "Methods of Investigating, Diagnosing and Treating Amyloidosis."
Amyloidosis is a condition in which certain proteins form abnormal fibrils that can cause irreversible damage to the brain, heart, kidneys, pancreas or other vital organs; these deposits are found in Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and disorders associated with cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and the aging process. Specifically, one part of their invention describes a therapeutic method to dissolve amyloid from tissue through use of a special fibril-based vaccine that would stimulate a patient's immune system to form antibodies that eliminate this material from the body. The patent also includes a unique transgenic experimental animal model of a particular kind of amyloid that can be used to evaluate agents designed to prevent or treat this illness, as well as diagnostic assays to monitor amyloid formation. Finally, another part of the patent involves the precise chemical identification of the amyloid type. This information is essential for determination of prognosis and proper treatment. Drs. Solomon and Wall trust that this patent will generate interest from a pharmaceutical company that will provide the means to translate these encouraging experimental findings to the clinic and patient care. Read full details of the patent on the USPTO Web site.
Patents are awarded for unique technologies and ideas and serve to protect inventions that can benefit society. The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) supports the patent process for UT inventions.
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