Available Technologies


East Carolina University is seeking partnerships with entrepreneurs and industry leaders to assist our university’s research goals. The following technologies are available for use through licensing with ECU.


Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology

Topical Treatment that Specifically Targets Skin Cancer

  • Case No. 1401
  • Lead Inventor: Dr. Rukiyah Van-Dross
  • Description: Dross and her co-investigators have developed a novel method to treat non-melanoma skin cancer. The method employs treating cancerous cells with a potent anti-tumor metabolite of the endocannabinoid arachidonoyl ethanolamide. The mechanism of action of 15dPGJ-EA centers on the molecule’s ability to elevate the level of endoplasmic reticulum stress in tumor cells. Once the level of ER stress in tumor cells passes a certain threshold, apoptosis is induced leading to tumor death.
  • Applications: Non-melanoma skin cancer, melanoma skin cancer, colon cancer
  • Patent Coverage: United States
  • Categories: Pharmaceutical, cancer, cosmetic and veterinary

A35R: The Gateway to a Safer Poxvirus Vaccine

  • Case No. 0618
  • Lead Inventor: Dr. Rachel Roper
  • Description: Roper has identified a novel gene called A35R. Removal of the A35R gene leads to a poxvirus vaccine that has improved safety and efficacy. Thus, this technology is useful for the numerous poxvirus vectors designed to protect against infectious disease and treat cancer. The poxvirus vaccinia virus is well suited for vaccine development, but its use is limited due to its potential harmfulness. By removing the A35R gene in the vaccinia virus, harmfulness is significantly reduced, leading to an increase in the safety profile of the poxvirus vaccine.
  • Applications: Zika virus, Ebola, rabies and cancer
  • Patent Coverage: United States, Australia, Mexico and Canada
  • Categories: Pharmaceutical, autoimmune, cancer, infection and veterinary

Cryopreservation of Blood Using Sucralose

  • Case No. 1501
  • Lead Inventor: Dr. Anthony Kennedy
  • Description: Kennedy and his co-investigators have developed an alternative blood cryopreservation method using sucralose. Typically, freezing cells, tissues or organs leads to cell death when a protective chemical is not added. Replacement of common protective chemicals with sucralose is an inexpensive alternative that can reduce ice crystal formation during storage in cryogenic temperatures by replacing water molecules in the membrane.
  • Applications: Military, blood banks, developing nations and low cost
  • Patent Coverage: United States
  • Categories: Pharmaceutical and biotechnology

Use of Ephrin A1 to Protect Cardiac Tissue Following Myocardial Infarction

  • Case No. 1007
  • Lead Inventor: Dr. Jitka Virag
  • Description: Virag and her co-investigators have developed a novel method to preserve heart tissue viability following myocardial infarction. Ephrin A1 is delivered to the heart following myocardial infarction. Ephrin A1 delivery preserves heart tissue by reducing infarct size, necrosis, wall thinning and inflammatory cell infiltration.
  • Applications: Heart function, heart tissue and inflammation
  • Patent Coverage: United States
  • Categories: Pharmaceutical, cardiovascular and veterinary

Treatment and Management of Augmentation in Restless Legs Syndrome

  • Case No. 1601
  • Lead Inventor: Dr. Stefan Clemens
  • Description: Clemens discovered in an animal model that treatment of restless leg syndrome with a dopamine 3 receptor agonist switches pain reflexes from analgesic effects (early) to hyperalgesic states (with long-term treatment), mimicking the switch in sensory effects observed in patients with augmentation. His lab found in the animal model that, by blocking dopamine 1 receptor activation in animals previously treated with dopamine 3 receptor agonist, animal behavior returned from hyperalgesic to normal behavioral ranges. If these findings can be translated to RLS patients, this will allow for the patient’s pain sensitivity to return to normal.
  • Applications: Restless legs syndrome treatment and pain sensitivity
  • Patent Coverage: United States Provisional
  • Categories: Pharmaceutical

Targeting Critical Limb Ischemia through Modulation of Cox6a2

  • Case No. 1605
  • Lead Inventors: Drs. Joseph McClung and Terence Ryan
  • Description: McClung and Ryan have discovered that mitochondrial mechanisms by which limb muscle cells respond to ischemia and influence the limb vasculature in peripheral artery disease may represent a new strategy to prevent tissue loss and subsequent limb amputation in patients with critical limb ischemia.
  • Applications: Peripheral artery disease, critical limb ischemia, acute limb ischemia and intermittent claudication
  • Patent Coverage: United States
  • Categories: Pharmaceutical and biotechnology


Medical Device, Instrumentation and Research Tools

None currently available.

Physical Sciences and Engineering

None currently available.


Software and Information Technology

Pediatric Heart Sounds

  • Case No. 9808
  • Lead Inventor: Dr. Michael McConnell
  • Description: McConnell has developed Pediatric Heart Sounds, a CD-ROM that offers an interactive overview of heart auscultation. It integrates high fidelity, digitally-recorded pediatric heart sounds with a graphic interface which allows users to view illustrations of a child’s chest while listening to the points of auscultation, simulating an actual examination. Additional interactive text, illustrations and a self-test are included to confirm a successful understanding of different heart sounds. ECU is looking to partner with existing education and software companies interested in licensing the Pediatric Heart Sounds Collection for educational use.
  • Applications: Heart Care, pediatrics and education
  • Patent Coverage: United States
  • Categories: Education and cardiovascular

Tandem Talk: Initiate Speech & Inhibit Stuttering

  • Case No. 0007
  • Lead Inventors: Drs. Joseph Kalinowski and Andrew Stuart
  • Description: Kalinowski, Stuart and Dr. Michael Rastatter are pioneers in the world of speech communication for individuals who stutter. Although numerous products exist to help individuals reduce stuttering, none help to overcome the silent block ­– when those suffering from stuttering find it difficult to initiate speech – that prevents many individuals from communicating. The research group found that by providing individuals with single vowels or vowel combinations, this block is reduced. The technology is currently in the form of a web app.
  • Applications: Speech therapy
  • Categories: Research tool

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