ACCELERATING TRANSFORMATIVE SOLUTIONS
R&D to build robust technologies to meet the pathogen
challenge quickly and effectively
Accelerating R&D for pandemic preparedness
and countering evolving pathogens
We help technologies see the light at
the end of the tunnel
We invest in transformative, high-risk, high-reward technologies. We believe a dynamic problem such as evolving, emerging and drug-resistant pathogens cannot be solved using slow, linear approaches. Therefore, we are interested in developing dynamic, adaptable and innovative solutions.
To enable these, ARC will allow for low cost and rapid evaluation of ideas via partnering with academia, foundations, start-up and established industry.
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explore ARC technologies
Quantum Dot Antibiotics
QUANTUM DOT ANTIBIOTICS
Quantum dots are programmable, nanoparticle semiconductors that can kill a wide range of multidrug-resistant becterial clinical isolates. The killing effect is independent of material and controlled by the redox potentials of the photo-generated charge carriers, which selectively alter the cellular redox state. Given the rapid design build, and test cycle, we are exploring the safety and efficacy of Quantum Dot Antibiotics in pre-clinical studies.
Photoexcited Quantum Dots could be used in the study of the effects of redox states on living systems and lead to clinical phototherapy for treatment of infections.
The case for smart therapeutics
Multidrug-resistant bacterial infections are an ever-growing threat because of the shrinking arsenal of traditional, small-molecule antibiotics. As baccteria develop new ways to resist our established approaches, we're losing the race in effective therapies for infectious disease.
We are exploring programmable, metal nanoparticle charge-carriers called quantum dots as a smart, tunable, alternative therapies for multidrug-resistant infections.
How quantum dots work
A property unique to atoms is their ability to be exited by very specific wavelengths of light. An excited atom jumps up to a higher energy level briefly before cascading back down to its base energy, releasing light or energy in its decent.
Metal nanoparticles release energy as they fall back down after being excited. This energy release has been shown to induce cell death, however, this attack is nonspecific and and surrounding tissue may suffer as well as pathogens.
Quantum dots are different because they are manufactured with extremely precise control over their energy fluctuations. We can activate quantum dots with light (photoexcitation) to make them release a controlled burst of energy as they relax back down to their normal state.
When your body's immune cells identify a foreign microbe or pathogen, a whole cascade of communication and coordinated action is initiated. Among these is the activation of phagocytes, specialized immune cells that engulf invaders and digest them in cellular contianers called lysosomes.
Conditions within lysosomes are brutal. They expose microbes to toxic chemicals while sequestering key resources that are necessary for survival. Several of the toxic chemicals are reactive oxygen species, highly reactive molecules that shred DNA and microbial components to eradicate engulfed pathogens.
The energy released by quantum dots generate reactive oxygen species that attack microbe the same way your immune system already does.
HARNESSING QUANTUM DOTS TO TREAT INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Several aspects of quantum dots make them particularly well-suited for treatment of bacterial infections. Their rapid and tunable synthesis enables response to new and emergent infections in real time. Once applied to a wound or infection, their small size allows them to readily diffuse into cells. Since we only need light to activate the quantum dots, we can use visible light for surface infections or infrared light for deep tissue infections, enabling controlled and localized treatment to prioritize patient health. Because quantum dots attack key processes and structures of microbes, they cannot evolve to resist quantum dot attack. Most importantly, quantum dots are safe. Experiments showed that quantum dots were able to clear intracellular infections without harming mammalian cells. The concentrations of Quantum Dot Antibiotics necessary to kill bacterial cells are harmless to our own human cells.
QUANTUM DOT ANTIBIOTICS IN THE ARC PIPELINE
Quantum dots have been proven capable of killing multidrug-resistant super bugs in vitro. Experiments testing Quantum Dot Antibiotics in pre-clinical animal models are currently underway, already revealing information about their safety and efficacy. Furthermore, Quantum Dot Antibiotics are being tested against biofilms, established microbial cities that afford them increased resilience against immune and antibiotic attack.
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Slowed Bacterial Adaptation
ARC Labs will function as an innovation-accelerator focusing on high-risk high-reward innovative technologies that have the potential to target evolving pathogens. We will develop infrastructure that will comprise of equipment, assays, and technical expertise needed for various stages of drug discovery and development. Under this effort, any one from anywhere in the world with a promising technology can plug into ARC lab infrastructure and network to advance translation of the technology.
ARC network will comprise of scientists and labs in academia and industry that can collaborate towards accelerated discovery and development of antimicrobials and diagnostics. ARC network scientists will specialize invarious areas of drug discovery and development, including synthetic biology, systems biology, nanotechnology, drug delivery, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, formulations, host-pathogen interactions, clinical microbiology, microbiome, immunology, diagnostics, mathematical biology, product development.
ARC Labs and ARC network together will function to support development of innovative, adaptable, and tunable therapeutics and diagnostics to combat emergent, evolving, or drug-resistant pathogens for which treatments are not available.
ARC has been created to address the urgent need to accelerate drug anddiagnostic discovery and development. We are addressing this by developing ARC Labs and ARC network.