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Novel compositions of RNA that stimulate RIG-I antiviral signaling


OHSU # 1994

Technology Overview:

Value Proposition: There is a distinct need for the development of novel antiviral and adjuvant molecules to boost the immune response to infection.  The present technology consists of modified sequences of RIG-1 that are 10-100 times more active in antiviral activity than previously described RNA structures.  There are profound implications for the treatment of viral infections such as vesicular stomatitis virus, dengue virus, human immunodeficiency virus, chikungunya virus, or influenza virus.


Technology Information: Dengue virus and chikungunya virus are two reemerging mosquito-borne viruses for which no therapeutic options currently exist. Both viruses overlap geographically in tropical regions of the world, produce similar fever-like symptoms, and are difficult to diagnose.


RIG-1 (retinoic acid-inducible gene 1) is a cytosolic multidomain protein and dsRNA helicase enzyme that is involved in viral double-stranded (ds) RNA recognition and the regulation of immune response.  The new novel compositions of RIG-1 have been shown to generate a protective antiviral response against both pathogens in immune and nonimmune cells that is largely independent of the classical type I interferon response.


The synthetic oligoribonucleotides form hairpin loop structures and can be used in the treatment of viral infection including prophylactic treatments and adjuvants and have implications in other viruses such as VSV, HIV and influenza.


Basic Market Information:  The number of approved antiviral drugs has increased substantially during the past decade due largely to drug resistance and ineffective current treatments.

Dengue has become the most important vector-borne infectious disease in the world with approximately 100 million cases and 21,000 deaths worldwide each year being attributed to the dengue virus. The maximum potential market for a dengue drug or drugs that on average reduced 40% of economic costs could be as high as US $338 million annually.

The re-emergence of chikungunya virus has resulted in more than 1.1 million suspected cases in the Americas alone and there are no licensed drugs to limit chikungunya replication and improve clinical outcome. At the moment, the highest potential markets are the private sectors and travelers markets in chikungunya-endemic regions.  Military use and public markets could also contribute substantially to a projected market for a chikungunya therapeutic. Increased surveillance and reporting of chikungunya, which is often misdiagnosed as dengue fever, may improve the understanding of disease burden, thus increasing the market potential. 

The combined sales value of anti-HIV drugs is expected to rise over 40% in the several years from $11.9 billion in 2013 to $16.8 billion in 2022.


Licensing Opportunity: The technology is available for licensing.




PublishedPatent Cooperation TreatyWO 2016/011324
IssuedUnited States9,790,509
PublishedEuropean Patent Convention3172324
Notice of allowanceUnited States


For more information, contact:

Andrew Watson
Senior Director, Technology Transfer