Novel Anti-HIV Proteins from Coral Reefs

Scientists at the National Cancer Institute's Molecular Targets Laboratory have discovered that Cnidarins as a novel class of highly potent proteins capable of blocking the HIV virus from penetrating T-cells. Cnidarins were found in a soft coral collected in waters off Australia's northern coast. Cnidarins can block virus fusion/entry but do not block viral attachment. In addition, Cnidarins do not have lectin-like activity and therefore possibly a unique mechanism of action. Thus, Cnidarins may represent important new leads for HIV microbicides or for systemic therapeutics for HIV.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:

Microbicide, Therapeutic, Research tool

  • High potency against HIV
  • Novel Chemical composition
  • Family of related proteins
  • Unique mechanism of action

Development Stage:
Pre-clinical (in vivo)


Barry OKeefe (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

James McMahon (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Koreen Ramessar (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Chang-yun Xiong (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
U.S. Filed Application No. PCT US1510797

Collaboration Opportunity:

Licensing and research collaboration

Licensing Contact:
John Hewes, Ph.D.
Phone: 240-276-5515

OTT Reference No: E-295-2012
Updated: Mar 26, 2018