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In addition to assigning responsibility of the institute to the four-member group, rather than a single director, UMMS has also expanded the center's focus to include all RNA therapeutics, not just ones based on RNAi.

Additional court documents filed by Alnylam and Max Planck indicate that the inclusion of 3' overhang data in Tuschl-I patent applications is a primary issue in the legal dispute.

In doing so, the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Massachusetts have all asked that the court reject Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Max Planck's request for an order blocking any Tuschl-I patent issuance.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants have sought to include in their patent applications inventions that belong solely to Max Planck and licensed exclusively to Alnylam. While licenses to the IP have been a big moneymaker for Alnylam, some companies have begun looking to alternative RNAi technologies.

According to court documents, the defendants have allegedly misappropriated and misrepresented as their own inventions solely owned by Max Planck and exclusively licensed by Alnylam.

The technology, called glucan-encapsulated siRNA particles, or GERPs, has been exclusively licensed by RXi Pharmaceuticals for use in developing RNAi-based therapeutics.

RNAi Grant Roundup

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Key RNAi-related grants issued by the National Institutes of Health thus far this year.

IP Update: Apr 23, 2009

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USPTO Publishes Two Patents, Sixteen Patent Applications Related to RNAi

Merck, Medarex, and UMass' MBL Ink mAb deal; Vandy licenses cancer Rx assay to DiaTech; MolecularMD sub-licenses OHSU CML mutation test to Mayo Clinic, and more …

Shire Owings Mills (Md.) Plant, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Takeda Pharmaceutical, Wareham Development, PATH, Fall River (Mass.) Executive Park, University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth Bioprocessing Facility, Silicon Border, Sapphire Engineering, Campanelli Business Park, University of California-Davis M.I.N.D., Institute, Doe & Ingalls of North Carolina, Covaris, Life Technologies, BioMed Realty Trust, Shasun Pharma Solutions

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Bloomberg reports that vaccine developers won't have to conduct large trials of updated vaccines or vaccine boosters aimed at new viral variants.

The SARS-CoV-2 variant uncovered in California may be more transmissible and partially evade vaccine-induced antibody response, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Francis deSouza, the CEO of Illumina, calls for a global SARS-CoV-2 genomics surveillance network, according to the Financial Times.

In PNAS this week: immunotherapy for hard-to-treat breast cancers, effects of oncogenic histone H3K36M mutations, and more.