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IP Update: Recent Patents, Patent Applications Awarded to Max Planck, UMass, Santaris, and More

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Title: RNA Interference-Mediating Small RNA Molecules

Patent Number: 8,329,463

Filed: July 19, 2010

Lead Inventor: Thomas Tuschl, Max Planck Institute

“Double-stranded RNA induces sequence-specific post-transcriptional gene silencing in many organisms by a process known as RNA interference,” the patent's abstract states. “Using a Drosophila in vitro system, we demonstrate that 19-23 [nucleotide] short RNA fragments are the sequence-specific mediators of RNAi. The short interfering RNAs are generated by an RNase III-like processing reaction from long dsRNA. Chemically synthesized siRNA duplexes with overhanging 3' ends mediate efficient target RNA cleavage in the lysate, and the cleavage site is located near the center of the region spanned by the guiding siRNA. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the direction of dsRNA processing determines whether sense or antisense target RNA can be cleaved by the produced siRNP complex.”


Title: Inhibition of Hairless Protein mRNA

Patent Number: 8,329,667

Filed: Jan. 17, 2006

Inventor: Angela Christiano, Columbia University

The patent, its abstract states, claims ”methods for inhibition of hairless protein mRNA using RNA interference ... in particular methods for hair removal. Also described are nucleic acid constructs for RNAi-mediated inhibition of hairless protein mRNA and compositions including such constructs.”


Title: Methods and Compositions for the Efficient Delivery of Therapeutics Agents to Cells and Animals

Patent Number: 8,329,681

Filed: Aug. 11, 2006

Inventor: Tariq Rana, University of Massachusetts

The invention, the patent's abstract states, comprises “methods of carrying out the safe and reliable preparation of lipids comprising quaternary amines. Such lipids are especially suited for introducing therapeutic agents into cells or organisms. In particular, the lipids of the invention are suitable for the efficient transfer of gene therapy agents into mammalian cells or organisms in a cell type specific or tissue specific manner.”


Title: Small Internally Segmented Interfering RNA

Patent Number: 8,329,888

Filed: March 23, 2007

Lead Inventor: Jesper Wengel, Santaris Pharma

The invention, the patent's abstract states, is “directed to pharmaceutical and therapeutic compositions [that] comprise RNA complexes [made of] an antisense strand and a discontinued passenger strand capable of regulating gene expression. The use of a discontinued passenger strand reduces off target effects of the RNA complexes and also has other advantages.”


Title: siRNA-Mediated Gene Silencing

Patent Number: 8,329,890

Filed: Nov. 23, 2010

Lead Inventor: Beverly Davidson, University of Iowa

The invention comprises “small interfering RNA molecules targeted against an allele of interest, and methods of using these siRNA molecules,” the patent's abstract states.


Title: Methods and Compositions for Enhancing the Efficacy and Specificity of RNA Silencing

Patent Number: 8,329,892

Filed: March 29, 2010

Lead Inventor: Phillip Zamore, University of Massachusetts

The invention provides “methods of enhancing the efficacy and specificity of RNA silencing,” according to the patent's abstract. “The invention also provides compositions for mediating RNA silencing. In particular, the invention provides siRNAs, siRNA-like molecules, shRNAs, vectors, and transgenes having improved specificity and efficacy in mediating silencing of a target gene. Therapeutic methods are also featured.”


Title: Inhibiting Hepatitis C Viral Replication with siRNA Combinations

Application Number: 20120308642

Filed: May 29, 2012

Lead Inventor: Srikanta Dash, Tulane University

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, comprises “combinations of small interfering RNAs that can inhibit the replication of hepatitis C virus in liver cells, along with methods of co-administering the siRNAs to subjects. Further, methods are disclosed for improving the delivery of nucleic acids to the liver.”


Title: Compositions and Methods for siRNA Inhibition of HIF-1 Alpha

Application Number: 20120308645

Filed: July 23, 2012

Lead Inventor: Samuel Reich, University of Pennsylvania (Opko Health)

The patent application, its abstract states, claims “RNA interference using small interfering RNAs [that] target HIF-1 alpha mRNA inhibit expression of the HIF-1 alpha gene. As HIF-1 alpha is a transcriptional regulator of VEGF, expression of VEGF is also inhibited. Control of VEGF production through siRNA-mediated down-regulation of HIF-1 alpha can be used to inhibit angiogenesis ... particularly in diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and many types of cancer.”


Title: Use of miR-30e to Treat Vascular Lesions

Application Number: 20120308647

Filed: Feb. 16, 2011

Inventor: Lina Shehadeh, University of Miami

The patent application, its abstract states, claim “microRNA molecules [for] the treatment of diseases associated with plaque formation, cardiovascular diseases, inflammation, stroke, and disorders associated with aging.”


Title: RNAi in Budding Yeast

Application Number: 20120309073

Filed: Sept. 10, 2010

Lead Inventor: David Bartel, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

“The invention provides budding yeast that have a functional RNAi pathway,” the patent application's abstract states. In addition, “the invention provides RNAi pathway polypeptides derived from budding yeast that have an endogenous RNAi pathway. In some embodiments, the invention provides functional budding yeast Dicer polypeptides and variants thereof. In some embodiments, the invention provides functional budding yeast Argonaute polypeptides and variants thereof. Also provided are isolated nucleic acids encoding the polypeptides of the invention, vectors comprising such nucleic acids, and methods of making the polypeptides and nucleic acids.

“The invention further provides genetically engineered cells that comprise a functional RNAi pathway polypeptide derived from budding yeast,” the abstract adds. “In some embodiments, such cells lack a functional endogenous RNAi pathway and are genetically engineered to have a functional RNAi pathway by introducing nucleic acids encoding one or more functional RNAi pathway polypeptides derived from budding yeast. The invention provides methods of using RNAi in budding yeast and/or in cells of other types, wherein the cells have been genetically engineered to express one or more RNAi pathway polypeptides of the invention. Also provided are methods of producing siRNA, either in vitro or in vivo, using a Dicer polypeptide derived from budding yeast.”


Title: Delivery of dsRNA to Arthropods

Application Number: 20120309813

Filed: July 10, 2012

Lead Inventor: Steven Whyard, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization

The invention relates to "methods of gene silencing in arthropods using dsRNA,” the patent application's abstract states. “The method includes contacting the arthropod with, and/or directly feeding the arthropod, the dsRNA … to deliver the dsRNA to arthropod tissues. It is envisaged that the methods of the invention will have use in determining the biological function of genes in arthropods. Methods of pest control of arthropods, and of protecting arthropods against parasites and predators are provided. Transgenic arthropods expressing dsRNA molecules are also provided by the ... invention.”


Title: Compositions and Methods for Topical Delivery of Oligonucleotides

Application Number: 20120309815

Filed: April 4, 2012

Lead Inventor: Sujatha Dokka, Isis Pharmaceuticals

The invention relates to “compositions and methods [that] enhance the delivery of nucleic acids and other nucleosidic moieties via topical routes of administration,” according to the patent application's abstract. “The invention relates to the use of an aqueous solution to preferentially deliver nucleic acids preferentially to hair follicles. The invention relates to a method of inhibiting hair growth comprising administration of a nucleic acid preferentially to a hair follicle.”

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