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Five New RNAi-Related Patent Applications Published By US Patent Office: June 25, 20014

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Title: Transgenic Cancer Models in Fish. Number: 20040117867. Filed: Sept. 11, 2003. Lead Inventor: Thomas Look, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The patent application, its abstract states, “provides transgenic fish whose genome has stably integrated therein an oncogene operably linked to a promoter. Methods of making the transgenic fish and methods for their use are also provided.”

The abstract adds that, in one embodiment, the “transgenic fish may … be utilized in methods of screening for drugs and agents that modulate oncogene-mediated neoplastic or hyperplastic transformation, or that modulate sensitivity to chemotherapy or radiation therapy.”

The application also notes that the drug or agent to be screened may be an antisense DNA, an antisense RNA, or small interfering RNA.


Title: Methods of Assaying for Modulators of the Inflammatory Process Using Components of the Ubiquitin Ligation Cascade. Number: 20040116347. Filed: Aug. 28, 2003. Lead Inventor: Esteban Masuda, Rigel Pharmaceuticals.

According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention “is directed to nucleic acids encoding components of the ubiquitin ligation pathway, e.g. ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like molecules, E1, E2, and E3 proteins and their substrates, which are involved in modulation of the inflammatory process.”

The invention also relates to “methods for identifying and using agents, including ... RNAi, antisense nucleic acids, and ribozymes, that modulate the inflammatory process via modulation of the ubiquitin ligation pathway,” the abstract adds.


Title: Single Promoter System for Making siRNA Expression Cassettes and Expression Libraries Using a Polymerase Primer Hairpin Linker. Number: 20040115815. Filed: July 23, 2003. Lead Inventor: Henry Li, Immusol.

“The present invention relates to methods and compositions for the elucidation of gene function and the identification of novel genes,” the patent application’s abstract states. “Specifically, the present invention relates to methods and compositions for improved functional genomic screening, functional inactivation of specific essential or non-essential genes, and identification of genes that are modulated in response to specific stimuli or encode recognizable phenotypic traits.”

The abstract adds that “compositions of the present invention include … expression cassettes comprising a novel polymerase primer hairpin linker that allows rapid construction of a single transcriptional unit encoding both strands of a hairpin siRNA, regardless of sequence. In addition, the … invention includes libraries comprising the expression cassettes of the invention, including vectors for transforming cells … [as well as] methods for the production and screening of siRNA libraries [and] therapeutic uses for the siRNAs expressed,” it states.


Title: Methods for Generating Enhanced Antibody Producing Cell Lines with Improved Growth Characteristics. Number: 20040115695. Filed: July 21, 2003. Lead Inventor: Luigi Grasso, Morphotek.

“The use of mismatch repair (MMR) defective antibody producer cells offers a method to generate subclone variants with elevated protein production such as antibodies,” the patent application’s abstract states. “Using MMR defective cells and animals, new cell lines and animal varieties with novel and useful properties … can be generated more efficiently than by relying on the natural rate of mutation.”

Using this method, the abstract notes, “two genes were discovered whose suppressed expression is associated with enhanced antibody production.”

The application claims a method for identifying genes responsible for high titer antibody production that involves inactivating MMR of antibody-producing cells using RNAi, screening the resultant hypermutable cells for cells that produce higher titers of antibody, and analyzing the genomes of the cells in order to identify the genes responsible for the higher titer antibody production.


Title: Stem-Loop Vector System. Number: 20040115616. Filed: June 24, 2003 (PCT Filed: Sept. 27, 2002). Lead Inventor: Timothy Albert Holton, Southern Cross University.

According to the patent application’s abstract, “the present invention relates generally to a method for generating a nucleic acid library. More particularly, the present invention provides a library of eukaryotic-derived nucleic acid molecules inserted into vectors and maintained in a prokaryotic microorganism or as isolated and/or purified nucleic acid molecules.”

These molecules, the abstract adds, “are useful for transforming or otherwise being introduced into eukaryotic cells, which can then be screened for transcriptional or post-transcriptional gene silencing events.”

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