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Alnylam Pharmaceuticals this week announced that the Japanese Patent Office has upheld certain key claims within the company's Tuschl-II patent during invalidation proceedings initiated at the request of Bio Think-Tank, a Japanese company.

Silence Therapeutics said last week that it has received a Japanese patent covering methods for screening a therapeutic agent to treat diseases, such as cancer, related to increased Pl3-kinase pathway activity.

The patent claims siRNAs containing proprietary 2’-O-methyl structures.

The patent covers a proprietary nucleic acid condensing and delivery peptide motif, as well as its use with therapeutic nucleic acids.

According to Alnylam, the patent "includes 38 claims broadly covering compositions, methods, uses, and systems for double-stranded RNAs."

The patent application — 2003-532675 — is owned by the Max Planck Institute, but is exclusively licensed to miRNA drug developer and Alnylam/Isis joint venture Regulus Therapeutics.

Novavax has begun a phase III trial of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, according to the New York Times.

Vox reports that the Trump Administration may limit student visas for individuals from some countries to two years.

The governor of New York says the state will conduct its own review of any SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, NPR reports.

This week in Science: Neanderthal Y chromosomes replaced by Homo sapiens Y chromosomes, and more.