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IP Update: Recent Patents, Patent Applications Awarded to Applied Biosystems, Alnylam, Merck, and More

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Title: Method to Quantify siRNAs, miRNAs, and Polymorphic miRNAs

Patent Number: 8,187,815

Filed: Jan. 27, 2011

Lead Inventor: Ruoying Tan, Applied Biosystems

The invention, the patent's abstract states, comprises “methods, compositions, and kits for quantifying target polynucleotides. In some embodiments, a reverse stem-loop ligation probe is ligated to the 3' end of a target polynucleotide using a ligase that can ligate the 3' end of RNA to the 5' end of DNA using a DNA template, such as T4 DNA ligase. Following digestion to form an elongated target polynucleotide with a liberated end, a reverse transcription reaction can be performed followed by a PCR. In some embodiments, the methods of the [invention] can discriminate between polymorphic polynucleotides that vary by as little as one nucleotide.”


Title: Duplex Oligonucleotides with Enhanced Functionality in Gene Regulation

Patent Number: 8,188,060

Filed: Feb. 10, 2009

Lead Inventor: Anastasia Khvorova, Dharmacon (Thermo Fisher Scientific)

The patent, its abstract states, claims “methods of enhancing functionality of duplex oligonucleotides and compositions made by the methods. The duplex oligonucleotides include siRNAs, miRNA mimics, and piRNA mimics [that] contain modified nucleotides and mismatches between the two strands of the molecule at specific nucleotide positions.”


Title: RNAi Modulation of ApoB and Uses Thereof

Patent Number: 8,188,061

Filed: March 19, 2010

Lead Inventor: Juergen Soutschek, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“The invention relates to compositions and methods for modulating the expression of apolipoprotein B, and more particularly to the down-regulation of apolipoprotein B by chemically modified oligonucleotides,” the patent's abstract states.


Title: Delivery of DNA or RNA via Gap Junctions from Host Cells to Target Cells and a Cell-Based Delivery System for Antisense or siRNA

Patent Number: 8,188,062

Filed: Oct. 22, 2010

Lead Inventor: Peter Brink, Columbia University

The patent, its abstract states, claims a “method of delivering an oligonucleotide or a plasmid expressing an oligonucleotide into a target cell [that] comprises introducing an oligonucleotide into a donor cell, particularly a stem cell, and contacting the target cell with the donor cell under conditions permitting the donor cell to form a gap junction with the target cell, whereby the oligonucleotide or a product of the oligonucleotide is delivered into the target cell from the donor cell.”


Title: Conjugates and Compositions for Cellular Delivery

Patent Number: 8,188,247

Filed: Aug. 30, 2010

Lead Inventor: Leonid Beigelman, Sirna Therapeutics (Merck)

“This invention features conjugates, compositions, methods of synthesis, and applications thereof, including folate derived conjugates of nucleosides, nucleotides, non-nucleosides, and nucleic acids including enzymatic nucleic acids and antisense nucleic acid molecules,” according to the patent's abstract.


Title: Human microRNAs Associated with Cancer

Patent Number: 8,188,255

Filed: Oct. 19, 2007

Lead Inventor: Thomas Litman, Exiqon

“The invention provides new sequences for human microRNAs associated with cancer, which may be used as molecular markers for cancer diagnostics or as therapeutic targets or agents,” the patent's abstract states.


Title: Short Interference Ribonucleic Acids for Treating Allergic Disease

Patent Number: 8,188,262

Filed: May 11, 2007

Lead Inventor: Bor-Luen Chiang, Wholesome Biopharm

The invention comprises “compounds, methods, and compositions for treating allergic diseases … [with] an isolated double-stranded short interfering ribonucleic acid [containing] a ribonucleotide sequence complementary to at least a portion of a target gene RNA such as an airway inflammation related-gene RNA,” the patent's abstract states. The result of such treatment is “cleavage of the expressed target gene RNA via RNA interference mechanism, [which] is useful as a medicament for treating allergy by alleviating or minimizing airway inflammation of a subject.”


Title: Modified siRNA Molecules and Uses Thereof

Patent Number: 8,188,263

Filed: Jan. 23, 2009

Lead Inventor: Ian MacLachlan, Protiva Biotherapeutics (Tekmira Pharmaceuticals)

The invention, the patent's abstract states, provides “chemically modified siRNA molecules and methods of using such siRNA molecules to silence target gene expression. Advantageously, the modified siRNA of the ... invention is less immunostimulatory than its corresponding unmodified siRNA sequence and retains RNAi activity against the target sequence.”

The invention also provides “nucleic acid-lipid particles comprising a modified siRNA, a cationic lipid, and a non-cationic lipid, which can further comprise a conjugated lipid that inhibits aggregation of particles … [as well as] methods of silencing gene expression by administering a modified siRNA to a mammalian subject,” it adds. “Methods for identifying and/or modifying an siRNA having immunostimulatory properties are also provided.”


Title: RNAi-Mediated Knockdown of NuMA for Cancer Therapy

Patent Number: 8,188,264

Filed: April 30, 2010

Lead Inventor: Murali Addepalli, Reliance Life Sciences

“This invention relates to the use of short interfering nucleic acid molecules to inhibit nuclear mitotic apparatus protein gene expression and their use in treatment of disease, including cancer,” the patent's abstract states.


Title: Gene Vector

Application Number: 20120128643

Filed: April 30, 2010

Lead Inventor: Alessandra Biffi, San Raffaele Telethon Institute

The invention comprises a “gene vector for use in gene therapy [with] at least one miRNA sequence target operably linked to a nucleotide sequence having a corresponding miRNA in a hematopoietic progenitor cell or hematopoietic stem cell [that] prevents or reduces expression of the nucleotide sequence in a HSPC or HSC but not in a differentiated cell,” the patent application's abstract states.


Title: Lipid Compositions

Application Number: 20120128760

Filed: May 5, 2010

Lead Inventor: Muthiah Manoharan, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

The invention relates to “lipid compositions comprising a cationic lipid ... a neutral lipid, a sterol, and a [polyethylene glycol] or PEG-modified lipid,” the patent application's abstract states. “Also disclosed are methods of producing the cationic lipid.”


Title: dsRNA for Treating Viral Infections

Application Number: 20120129913

Filed: Jan. 26, 2012

Lead Inventor: Mark Aron Labow, Novartis

“The invention relates to double-stranded ribonucleic acids targeting gene expression of phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase, in particular human phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase, catalytic, beta polypeptide, or human phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase, catalytic, alpha polypeptide, and their use for treating infection by positive-stranded RNA viruses such as hepatitis C virus,” the patent application's abstract states. “Each dsRNA comprises an antisense strand having a nucleotide sequence which is less than 30 nucleotides in length ... and ... substantially complementary to at least a part of the PIK4CB or PIK4CA target mRNA. A plurality of such dsRNA may be employed to provide therapeutic benefit.

“The invention also relates to a pharmaceutical composition comprising the dsRNA together with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, and including a delivery modality such as fully encapsulated liposomes or lipid complexes,” the abstract adds. “The invention further includes methods for treating diseases caused by positive stranded RNA virus infection using the pharmaceutical compositions, and methods for inhibiting the propogation of positive-stranded RNA viruses in and between cells.”

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.