Location: Foodborne Toxin Detection and Prevention
Project Number: 5325-42000-048-11
Start Date: Oct 01, 2010
End Date: Sep 30, 2015
The USDA has a general interest in detection and prevention of foodborne botulism. The USDA ARS Foodborne Contaminants Research Unit, located in Albany, California, has developed a series of high-affinity monoclonal antibodies to botulinum neurotoxin and these have been formatted into sensitive immunoassays for detecting botulism in foods. Furthermore, many of these antibodies are capable of neutralizing toxin and rescuing animals after exposure. PanThera Biopharma LLC is a private company focused on addressing the urgent need for new drugs to combat emerging infectious diseases and potential biowarfare agents. PanThera’s proprietary technologies and its expertise in structure-based drug design, medicinal chemistry and high throughput virtual screening will result in the development and delivery of safe, effective drugs against life-threatening diseases. PanThera is developing an effective drug for the treatment of botulism. This project combines the resources and efforts of PanThera with those of ARS to produce synergistic results and further our understanding of botulinum neurotoxin. PanThera will utilize the USDA monoclonal antibodies as aids in identifying small molecule therapeutic drugs that can be used to treat botulism.