Available Technologies

Browse Penn-owned technologies available for licensing.

Immunotoxin therapeutic targets epithelial derived cancers

Immunotoxin chimeras of DNaseI and cytolethal distending toxin (CdtB subunit) are an effective therapeutic against epithelial tumors. 

Technology Overview: 

Immortalized epithelioid cell lines are sensitive to CdtB, whereas cells of mesenchymal, or ectomesenchymal origin are relatively resistant. Unique chimeras of the cdtB gene and human type I deoxyribonuclease (DNase I) were constructed to increase activity resulting in the inhibition of proliferation of human epithelial cells.  These CdtB/DNase I hybrid proteins exhibited in vitro DNA nicking/cutting activity and formed heterotrimers with CdtA and CdtC subunits to create a biologically active toxin that is active in vivo.

Replacement of the CdtA subunit with an anti-CD133 monoclonal antibody resulted in the targeted inhibition of CD133-expressing head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines. The use of human DNase I adds a human protein signature to the CdtB toxin enhancing its application as an attractive anti-cancer cell therapy.   


  • Produce less side effects than current immunotherapeutics
  • Specific to highly proliferative cells
  • Effectively targets head and neck cancers

State of Development: 

In vitro proof of concept 

Intellectual Property: 

US 8,920,809 B2 “Chimera comprising bacterial cytotoxin and methods of using the same” (issued Dec. 30, 2014)

Desired Partnerships: 

  • License
  • Sponsored research
  • Research Collaboration

Patent Information:


Docket # S4288

For Information, Contact:

Melissa Kelly Associate Director
University of Pennsylvania