Therapeutic Inhibitor for Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-associated Cancers


This invention is a new EBV-specific targeted agent which selectively kills cancer cells without affecting any normal cells. The uptake of this drug can also be traced by the fluorescent signal that can be used for cancer cells imaging.

  • Therapeutic Inhibitor for Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-associated Cancers
Commercialisation opportunities
Seeking partners to collaborate and bring this to clinical trials
Problem addressed

EBV infects over 90% of the human population and Nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) is one of EBV-associated cancers which is endemic in a few areas including Southern China and Southeast Asia. This technology could provide a fast, simple and accurate detection for EBV-associated cancers.

  • Epstein–Barr nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) is the only viral protein expressed in all EBV-infected cells. This invention is an EBNA1 targeting bio-probe that can effectively target EBNA1 to disrupt its cancerous activities and inhibit cancer cell growth.
  • In addition, it can also emit fluorescent signals to show the presence of EBV-infected cells, and this can be used for imaging the EBV-associated cancers.
Key impact
  • The association of NPC and EBV is nearly 100% in endemic areas. Early detection and treatment of cancer would help to increase survival rate.
  • Currently, there is no single agent that can both image and kill NPC cancer cells at the same time.
  • Gold Medal at the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva 2021
  • A new generation medical reagent that has both imaging function and anti-cancer activity can be developed based on this technolgy.


  • US Patent No. US 11,046,731
  • Taiwan Patent No. I689503
  • US Patent No. US 10,137,115
  • US Patent No. US 10,842,846
  • Taiwan Patent No. I632917
Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU)

Aspiring to be a leading, research-led, liberal arts University in Asia, Hong Kong Baptist University is committed to conducting world-leading investigations that extends the frontiers of knowledge, tackles global challenges and benefits the community at home and abroad. 

Pursuing research excellence is one of the priorities of the University’s Institutional Strategic Plan 2018-2028. The University keeps enhancing its capacity and strength to produce world-class research with an aim to bring significant impact to the society.