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VLP mediated delivery of protein in mammalian cells

Protein delivery is an emerging field for protein therapy.  Current protein delivery methods are extremely inefficient.   Recently, the Protein Expression Laboratory (PEL) has shown that proteins can be delivered with high efficiency to the cytoplasm as well as the nucleus of mammalian cells.  We have also demonstrated that protein ligands can also be displayed on the surface of VLPs.   Full benefits of protein of delivery will only be realized when targeted delivery (cell- or tissue-specific) is developed—our current aim is to achieve that goal.

Video: Targeted Protein Delivery Using Engineered Virus-like Particles

SAIC-Frederick Inc. researchers have developed self-assembling virus-like particles that can deliver therapeutic proteins against cancer and other diseases directly into target cells with near 100 percent efficiency.

Picture of virus-like particle attaching to a cell

Click here for video

Researchers have validated the performance of these particles in a human prostate cancer cell. The particles were at least twice as effective as current methods in delivering their protein payload, much less material was needed to deliver the desired amount of protein, and no genetic material accompanies protein delivery–offering multiple advantages compared to traditional in-vitro protein delivery systems.

This technology is being made available via collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which owns the rights, for commercial development as a drug delivery system or as a highly efficient protein production and purification tool in laboratory research.


Additionally, the PEL has started a collaboration with Oregon Health and Science University (Portland, Oregon) on the use of virus-like particles (VLP) to initiate somatic recombination in otic precursors in utero.  The combination of our novel VLP mediated protein delivery and expertise of OHSU with in vivo gene transfer is innovative and will further define the usefulness of VLPs for macromolecule delivery during mouse embryonic development.

SAIC-Frederick is contracted to provide operations and technical support to NCI’s federal national laboratory in Frederick, Md. - a government-owned, contractor-operated Federally Funded Research and Development Center. NCI owns patent rights to technologies developed under this contract.

SAIC-Frederick, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a Fortune 500® company, is the operations and technical support contractor at the National Cancer Institute at Frederick. This U.S. national laboratory is dedicated to rapidly translating basic research into new technologies for diagnosing, treating, and preventing cancer and AIDS.

For more information, please contact:

Bruce Crise, PhD
Director, Business Development
Advanced Technology Initiative
SAIC-Frederick, Inc. (contractor)
Frederick National Laboratory
8560 Progress Drive
Room E3117
Frederick, MD  21701
Office: 301-846-5739
FAX: 301-846-6075



Page last updated June 29, 2012 @ 7:44 am