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U.S. Army ready to license technology that can diagnose exposure to toxic agents

The U.S. Army announced on July 22 that it is willing to license an invention holding a U.S. patent that can help diagnose exposure to a variety of toxic agents – perhaps including Anthrax, Brucella, Plague, Botulinum, Cholera and others – by measuring distinct patterns in the levels of expression of specific genes.

The Army said it would offer an exclusive, non-exclusive or partially-exclusive license to U.S. patent number 6,316,197, which was filed by inventors, Rina Das, Marti Jett and Chanaka Mendis, in February 2000 and formally issued on November 13, 2001.

“The invention relates to a method of diagnosing exposure to a toxic agent by determining a difference in the detected amount of protein/gene expression between exposed and unexposed samples,” said the Army’s notice, which appeared in the Federal Register on July 22.

The relevant patent says, “A treatment method for administering a therapeutic agent which inhibits the mechanistic pathways necessary to maintain the progression of lethal shock is also disclosed.”

 After citing a long list of lethal toxic agents, the U.S. patent suggests that its invention can help solve such problems. “With the present invention both known and presently unknown or bio-engineered biological warfare (BW) agents can be identified based on early host functional responses to exposure,” it explains.

Further information from the U.S. Army is available from Elizabeth Arwine, a patent attorney, at 301-619-7808.