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A Novel Therapeutic Strategy for the Treatment of Hyperpigmentation and Melanoma

Posted Jun 15 2010 5:00pm

Description of Invention:
The present invention describes that the transcription factor SOX9 is expressed by normal human melanocytes in vitro and in the skin in vivo, and that over-expression of SOX9 decreases the proliferation of mouse and human melanoma cell lines via several pathways. Furthermore, SOX9 (or its bioactive derivatives) appears to be potentially useful in inducing skin pigmentation, may inhibit the proliferation of melanoma cells and increase their sensitivity to retinoic acid, which could be used to treat melanoma.

  • SOX9 (or its bioactive derivative) might be useful in increasing skin pigmentation in acquired hypopigmentary disorders such as vitiligo (1-2% of world population) or post-inflammatory hypopigmentation.
  • A novel gene therapy based treatment for Melanoma: Experimental results show that cells over-expressing SOX9 do not form tumors in human skin reconstructs or in mice as do wild type or GFP-transduced melanoma cells.
  • SOX-9 therapy in combination with retinoic acid can be an effective therapeutic strategy for treating melanoma.

Development Status:
The technology is currently in the pre-clinical stage of development. Animal studies have been performed and the inventors are currently pursuing gene therapy approaches with SOX9 which may be useful in the treatment of melanoma.

Vincent J Hearing (NCI)
Thierry Passeron (NCI)

Patent Status:
HHS, Reference No. E-150-2007/0
PCT, Application No. PCT/US2008/009762 filed 15 Aug 2008

Licensing Status:
Available for exclusive and non-exclusive licensing.

Collaborative Research Opportunity:
The National Cancer Institute Laboratory of Cell Biology is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize the regulation of SOX9 function as a strategy to treat melanoma, modulate skin pigmentation and/or ameliorate skin pigmentary disorders. Please contact John D. Hewes, Ph.D. at 301-435-3121 or for more information.

Cancer - Therapeutics
In-vivo Data
In-vitro Data

For Additional Information Please Contact:
Whitney Hastings
NIH Office of Technology Transfer
6011 Executive Blvd. Suite 325,
Rockville, MD 20852
United States
Phone: 301-451-7337
Fax: 301-402-0220

Ref No: 1769

Updated: 06/2010

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