Categories | Inventors

Detection and treatment of disease using bioconjugates comprising a dystroglycan binding agent


OHSU # 1993

Technology Overview:

Despite the prevalence of bladder cancer in the United States, few treatment options exist.  To address this unmet need, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have developed a bioconjugate comprising a dystroglycan binding agent for use in detecting and treating early stage bladder cancer. 

About half of all bladder cancers are identified early, when they are in the non-invasive stage and are limited to the innermost layer of the bladder wall.  Despite current treatments, non-invasive bladder cancers are likely to recur, resulting in the high lifetime healthcare costs for repeated surveillance and treatment of these patients and making these cancers the most expensive of all cancers to treat per capita.  The difficulty in treating early stage bladder cancer and the high cost associated with it underscore the need to find an effective and easy method of bladder cancer diagnosis and treatment when the cancer is still in the non-invasive stage.

OHSU’s unique detection and treatment method specifically targets early stage tumor cells in the bladder by taking advantage of the altered architecture of the tumor cell, compared to that of the surrounding normal epithelium.  The method depends upon a bioconjugate that includes 1) a targeting (dystroglycan binding) molecule that is specific for tumor cells and 2) either a detectable marker for visible detection of early stage cancer or an anti-tumor agent for tumor cell killing.  This technology can be applied to other disorders where the normal architecture of an epithelial cell is lost.

Competitive Advantages

•        Specifically targets tumor cells within the bladder

•        Is administered directly into the bladder, avoiding systemic exposure

•        Does not target normal epithelium

•        Can be used for detection/surveillance and/or targeted therapy of pre-invasive tumors


Leonoudakis D., Huang G., Akhavan A., Fata J.E., Singh M., Gray J.W., Muschler J.L., Endocytic trafficking of laminin is controlled by dystroglycan and is disrupted in cancers.  2014: J. Cell Sci., 127(22): 4894-4903.

Intellectual Property

U.S. Non-Provisional patent application 14/751,631

PCT patent application PCT/US2015/037934

Licensing Opportunity

This technology is available for licensing. 



PublishedUnited StatesUS-2017-0307610

Other Patents Filed


For more information, contact:

Anne Carlson
Technology Development Manager