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Alnylam Receives Notice of Allowance for US Patent Application on RNAi Agents


Alnylam Pharmaceuticals said this week that the US Patent and Trademark Office has issued a notice of allowance for a company patent application covering "certain chemically modified siRNAs of any length directed to any target, including siRNAs with sterol conjugates, for in vivo delivery."

The patent application, No. 20050107325, is entitled "Modified iRNA Agents," and specifically claims RNAi agents that "preferably include a monomer in which the ribose moiety has been replaced by a moiety other than ribose," its abstract states. "The inclusion of such a monomer can allow for modulation of a property of the … agent into which it is incorporated," for example by using the non-ribose moiety as a point to which a ligand or other entity, such as cholesterol, is directly or indirectly tethered.

The Scan

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.

Effectiveness May Decline, Data From Israel Suggests

The New York Times reports that new Israeli data suggests a decline in Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness against Delta variant infection, though protection against severe disease remains high.

To See Future Risk

Slate looks into the use of polygenic risk scores in embryo screening.

PLOS Papers on Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus, Bone Marrow Smear Sequencing, More

In PLOS this week: genomic analysis of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, archived bone marrow sequencing, and more.