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Epstein-Barr virus bhrf1 (EBV bhrf1)

Cell culture and mouse studies suggest a protein-based inhibitor of bhrf1, called BINDI, could help treat EBV+ cancers. Viral bhrf1 is a homolog of human B cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2; BCL2) that blocks apoptosis and is associated with cancer. In an EBV+ but not an EBV- cell line, BINDI conjugated to a peptide that enhanced its cellular uptake and formulated with a copolymer carrier to enhance its endosomal escape increased cell death compared with BINDI lacking the carrier. In a xenograft mouse model of EBV+ B cell lymphoma, an antibody-micelle formulation of BINDI, cyclophosphamide and Velcade bortezomib delayed tumor progression and increased survival time compared with chemotherapy alone. Next steps include creating BINDI variants that specifically bind endogenous human BCL-2 family members.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Johnson & Johnson market the proteasome inhibitor Velcade to treat multiple myeloma (MM) and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).

SciBX 7(29); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.858
Published online July 31, 2014

Patent application filed for BINDI; available for licensing from the University of Washington Center for Commercialization

Procko, E. et al. Cell; published online June 19, 2014;
Contact: David Baker, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.