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BRI-supported research projects continue to make significant scientific contributions:

Telomerase Modulators (details)

Novel Dimers to Fight against Alzheimer's Disease (details)

Novel Neuronal Signaling Pathways (details)

Neuro-Drug Discovery and Design (details)

Development of Effective Neuroprotective Therapies (details)

TCM-based Microarray Applications (details)

Protocol for Rapid Production of CNS Neurons (details)

Discovery of Novel Neuro-Proteins (details)

TCM Derived Anti-Oxidant (details)

Large-scale Production of Human Epidermal Growth Factor (hEGF) (details)

Drug Delivery Technology (details)

Insect Resistant Transgenic Vegetable (details)

Early Diabetes Detection (details)

Besides, numerous patents have been resulted from BRI-supported initiatives while more are at different stages of filing. (details)












Telomerase Modulators

BRI researchers have identified novel chemical families from TCM possessing telomerase modulating activities with multiple therapeutic potentials. TA Therapeutics Limited was jointly founded by HKUST and the US-based Geron Corporation in March 2005 to capitalize on these findings and develop telomerase activator drugs to help fight against age-related and neurodegenerative diseases. MORE

Novel Dimers to Fight against Alzheimer's Disease

Researchers at BRI synthesized a series of novel dimers which are derived from modified huperzine A molecule, a compound extracted from the Chinese medicinal herb Qian Ceng Ta. The dimers are found to be more potent and more selective, also they are devoid of toxic moieties compared with some of the current FDA approved acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. The invention provides promising drug leads for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. MORE


Novel Neuronal Signaling Pathways

BRI scientists have been conducting studies on various aspects of cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5). They have demonstrated that Cdk5 is a key player in the nerve-muscle synapses. Their studies have uncovered a Cdk5 inhibitory peptide and a novel protein possessing Cdk5 inhibitory activity. Further in depth studies along these lines potentially reveal novel drug targets for neurodegenerative diseases.


Neuro-Drug Discovery and Design

BRI scientists solved the structures of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) and its regulatory protein and revealed a novel mechanism for nitric oxide signal transduction. The disruption of nNOS signal transduction complex by uncoupling the enzyme from PSD-95 scaffold protein provides a potential novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of ischemia stroke.


Development of Effective Neuroprotective Therapies

BRI's research group has identified several compounds from TCM that have potent protective effects against neuronal cell death caused by excitotoxicity. The leads could be developed into effective therapies for the treatment of conditions such as stroke.


TCM-based Microarray Applications

Using distinct cDNA sequence information derived from F. cirrhosae and F. thunbergii, a silicon-based microarray was manufactured in-house to differentiate different species of Fritillaria. This technology offers a fast, accurate and cost effective approach to identifying and characterizing TCM products and botanicals.



Protocol for Rapid Production of CNS Neuron

A novel protocol has been developed to generate human CNS neurons from precursors in approximately two weeks. This ability greatly facilitates future supplies and use of the neurons for both basic and applied research.


Discovery of Novel Neuro-Proteins

The discovery of a panel of candidate genes that are involved in the early development of the human CNS provides significant insights on the molecular mechanisms underlying neural development and diseases.


TCM Derived Anti-Oxidant

BRI-supported research has led to the isolation of a TCM-based active ingredient believed to provide protection against coronary heart disease and possibly retard the aging process. The findings led to a licensing agreement with the Lee Kum Kee Group.


Large-scale Production of Human Epidermal Growth Factor (hEGF)

BRI has successfully engineered an Escherichia coli excretion system capable of high-level expression of extracellular hEGF for cosmetic and therapeutic applications.


Drug Delivery Technology

BRI-supported research into drug delivery techniques has resulted in a proprietary pulmonary system and transfer of a controlled-release preparation to Apotec International Co. Ltd.


Insect Resistant Transgenic Vegetable

An insect resistant transgenic Brassica parachinensis vegetable (or choi sum) was constructed by inserting Bacillus thuringiensis toxin genes into the plant.


Early Diabetes Detection

A non-invasive device based on "optical biosensor" technology for early detection of Type II diabetes was developed and licensed to SpectRx Inc. in the United States.




Examples of Granted Patents

A novel pulmonary drug delivery system (US 5,451,569)
An enzyme useful for the processing of cellulosic waste (GB 2289050)
A rapid test kit for typhoid fever (US patent design 367,932, UK registered design 2,037,508, Australian patent 640346)
Novel TCM-based dimeric compounds for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (US 6,472,408, GB 2,360,518)
A species-specific molecular genetic marker for authentication of Fritillaria (Beimu) (US 6,569,625)
Regulatory peptide that can facilitate development of Alzheimer's disease remedies (US 6,693,166)

Novel proteins possessing inhibitory effects on an enzyme that is involved in Alzheimer's disease (US 6,753,413)
Cloning of a novel neurotrophin that supports the survival and outgrowth of neurons (US 7,022,670)