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Methods and Reagents for Using Mammalian Melanocortin Receptor Agonists and Antagonists to Modulate Feeding Behavior in Animals (MC3&4)


OHSU # 0367

Technology Overview
The present invention provides a biological screening system for identifying and characterizing compounds that are agonists or antagonists of mammalian melanocortin receptors, MC3-R and MC4-R, with the capacity to influence or modify metabolism and behavior in an animal, particularly feeding behavior.  It is an advantage of the present invention that it provides an in vitro screening method for characterizing compounds having melanocortin receptor binding activities that relate to feeding behavior in animals. Specifically, the invention advantageously provides means and methods for identifying compounds having melanocortin receptor agonist and/or antagonist activity that have been associated with either stimulating or inhibiting feeding behavior when administered to an animal. The invention thus provides an economical first step in screening compounds for the capacity to affect feeding behavior, including synthetic, peptidomimetic or organomimetic derivatives of melanocortin receptor agonists or antagonists as disclosed herein or elsewhere.


Market Summary
The obesity market is projected to include 139 million obese people the U.S, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, U.K. and Japan by the year 2010.  In terms of obesity drug sales, one report has shown that the obesity market generated more than $426Million in drug sales in 2000 and is expected to increase to over $1.3Billion by 2010.


Inventor Profile
Roger Cone earned his Ph.D. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1985. He received his B.A. in Biochemistry from Princeton University. Starting in 1985, Cone was a fellow at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In 1988, he became an assistant professor in the Division of Molecular Medicine at the New England Medical Center, where he remained until he accepted his appointment to the Vollum in 1990. Cone moved to Vanderbilt University in 2008 and is the Chair of the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics.


Nature. 1997 Jan 9;385(6612):165-8


Licensing Opportunity
The patent rights under OHSU 367 are available for non-exclusive or exclusive licensing.


Related Technologies:

  • OHSU # 0244 — Mammalian Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone Receptors and Uses (MC1)
  • OHSU # 0245 — Mammalian Adrenocorticotropic Hormone Receptors and Uses (MC2)
  • OHSU # 0264 — Mammalian Melanocortin Receptors and Uses (MC3)
  • OHSU # 0387-A — Regulation of Exocrine Gland Function by Modulation of Melanocortin-5 Receptor (MC5-R) Activity
  • OHSU # 0640 — POMC transgenic mice and neuron-specific promoter


For more information, contact:

Robert Copenhaver
Technology Development Manager