Available Technologies

Browse Penn-owned technologies available for licensing.


One-step synthesis of cationic steroids for gene delivery, anti-inflammatory activity, and antimicrobial activity.


Reagents for improved DNA lipofection, depot anti-inflammation, and/or topical antimicrobial therapy



Scott L. Diamond, Arthur E. Humphrey Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering



Technology Overview

Researchers in the Diamond lab have developed a versatile new class of pharmacologically-active molecules with multiple applications.  These molecules deliver plasmids (pDNA), adenovirus (AdV), and adeno-associated virus (AAV) to cultured cells and to pulmonary epithelium in vivo.  In addition to their gene delivery capabilities, the structure of the molecules allows them to function as slow-release prodrugs for local treatment of vector-associated inflammation.  Importantly, this therapeutic effect may synergize with the gene that is delivered.  The anti-inflammatory effect of the cationic steroids does not require DNA, and as the prodrugs degrade, they break down into non-toxic materials with pharmacological activity.  The molecules can be readily synthesized in one-step from inexpensive precursors in a scalable reaction and purified in gram quantities.  Additionally, the cationic steroids have potent antimicrobial activity against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, including clinical strains of MRSA and pseudomonas.


Caption: Synthesis of a cationic steroid for gene delivery and anti-inflammatory activity.  From Gruneich et al, 2004.



•       Efficient delivery of genes to cultured cells

•       Synergistic combination of gene delivery and anti-inflammatory effects to enhance gene therapy

•       Rapid production of compound in large quantities

•       Potent and rapid bactericidal activity against drug-resistant bacteria




•       Gene therapy via non-viral gene delivery

•       Slow-release therapeutics for treatment of inflammation

•       Enhancer of DNA vaccines

•       Pulmonary infections



Stage of Development

•       Proof-of-concept and mouse in vivo data 


Intellectual Property

USSN 7,442,386

USSN 9,056,048


CA 2,456,977

EPO 1424998

AU 2002324723


Reference Media

Gruneich JA et al.  Gene Therapy, 2004, 11(8), p. 668-674.

Gruneich JA and Diamond SL.  J. Gene Med, 2007, 9(5), p. 381-391.




Desired partnerships

• License




Download PDF


Docket #  N2612 

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Joshua Jeanson
Associate Director, SEAS/SAS Licensing Group
University of Pennsylvania
Scott Diamond