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Eight RNAi-Related Patent Applications Published by USPTO Last Week

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Title: Gene Silencing

Number: 20050120415

Filed: Oct. 12, 2004

Inventor: Milo Aukerman, Pioneer Hi-Bred International

"The invention provides methods and compositions useful in target sequence suppression and target sequence validation. The invention provides polynucleotide constructs useful for gene silencing, as well as cells, plants and seeds comprising the polynucleotides. The invention also provides a method for using microRNA to silence a target sequence."


Title: Regulation of Polynucleic Acid Activity and Expression

Number: 20050120414

Filed: Aug. 16, 2004

Inventor: Paul Diamond

"The invention provides methods and systems for controlling the expression and, in general, the cellular activity of pre-selected polynucleic acid molecules," the patent application's abstract states. "The invention also provides methods and systems for genetically modifying cells and multi-cellular organisms to impart resistance to viruses. The invention further provides methods and systems for genetically modifying cells and multi-cellular organisms so that they diagnostically report viral infection."

The abstract adds that "one aspect of the invention involves rendering target polynucleic nucleic acid molecules as functional templates for at least one template-directed polynucleic acid polymerase so that utilization of the polynucleic acid molecule as a template by the polymerase modulates the activity of the targeted polynucleic acid molecule. Other aspects of the invention involve rendering selected polynucleic nucleic acid molecules as targets for RNA silencing, whether or not the silencing is polymerase-mediated."


Title: Conjugated Oligomeric Compounds and Their Use in Gene Modulation

Number: 20050119470

Filed: Nov. 4, 2003

Lead Inventor: Muthiah Manoharan, Isis Pharmaceuticals

According to the patent application's abstract, the invention "provides modified oligomeric compounds that modulate gene expression via an RNA interference pathway. The oligomeric compounds of the invention include one or more conjugate moieties that can modify or enhance the pharmacokinetic and phamacodynamic properties of the attached oligomeric compound."


Title: Nuclease-Resistant Double-Stranded Ribonucleic Acid

Number: 20050119214

Filed: Sept. 7, 2004

Lead Inventor: Muthiah Manoharan, Isis Pharmaceuticals

"This invention features modified iRNA agents having improved stability in cells and biological fluids, and methods of making and identifying iRNA agents having improved stability, and of using the iRNA agents to inhibit the expression or function of a target gene," the patent application's abstract states.


Title: RNA Interference-Mediated Inhibition of Fas and FasL Gene Expression Using Short Interfering Nucleic Acid

Number: 20050119212

Filed: June 18, 2004

Lead Inventor: Peter Haeberli, Sirna Therapeutics

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, "relates to compounds, compositions, and methods useful for modulating Fas and/or FasL gene expression using short interfering nucleic acid molecules. This invention also relates to compounds, compositions, and methods useful for modulating the expression and activity of other genes involved in pathways of Fas and/or FasL gene expression and/or activity by RNA interference using small nucleic acid molecules. In particular, the instant invention features small nucleic acid molecules, such as short interfering nucleic acid, short interfering RNA, double-stranded RNA, microRNA, and short hairpin RNA molecules and methods used to modulate the expression of Fas and/or FasL genes," the abstract adds.


Title: RNA-Mediated Inhibition [of] Connexin Gene Expression Using Short Interfering Nucleic Acid

Number: 20050119211

Filed: June 16, 2004

Lead Inventor: Bharat Chowrira, Sirna Therapeutics

"This invention relates to compounds, compositions, and methods useful for modulating Connexin gene expression using short interfering nucleic acid molecules," the patent application's abstract states. "This invention also relates to compounds, compositions, and methods useful for modulating the expression and activity of other genes involved in pathways of Connexin gene expression and/or activity by RNA interference using small nucleic acid molecules. In particular, the instant invention features small nucleic acid molecules, such as short interfering nucleic acid, short interfering RNA, double-stranded RNA, microRNA, and short hairpin RNA molecules and methods used to modulate the expression of Connexin genes such as Connexin43 (Cx43)."


Title: Smad7 Inhibitors for the Treatment of CNS Disease

Number: 20050119203

Filed: April 30, 2004

PCT Filed: Oct. 31, 2002

Lead Inventor: Andreas Steinbrecher, University of Regensburg (Alnylam Europe)

According to the patent application's abstract, the invention "relates to the use of a specific inhibitor of Smad7 expression or function for the preparation of a pharmaceutical composition for the prevention, amelioration or treatment of a disease of the central nervous system and/or diseases related and/or caused by said disease of the central nervous system. Furthermore, methods for preventing, ameliorating and/or treating such diseases are disclosed."

The application specifically claims the use of a double-stranded RNA to inhibit Smad7 in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease.


Title: Medicament to Treat a Fibrotic Disease

Number: 20050119202

Filed: May 24, 2004

PCT Filed: Oct. 25, 2002

Lead Inventor: Roland Kreutzer, Alnylam Europe

"The invention concerns a medicament to treat a fibrotic disease, wherein the medicament contains a double-stranded ribonucleic acid that is suitable for inhibiting by RNA interference the expression of a gene that is involved in the formation of extracellular matrix," the patent application's abstract states.

The Scan

Not Kept "Clean and Sanitary"

A Food and Drug Administration inspection uncovered problems with cross contamination at an Emergent BioSolutions facility, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Resumption Recommendation Expected

The Washington Post reports that US officials are expected to give the go-ahead to resume using Johnson & Johnson's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Canada's New Budget on Science

Science writes that Canada's new budget includes funding for the life sciences, but not as much as hoped for investigator-driven research.

Nature Papers Examine Single-Cell, Multi-Omic SARS-CoV-2 Response; Flatfish Sequences; More

In Nature this week: single-cell, multi-omics analysis provides insight into COVID-19 pathogenesis, evolution of flatfish, and more.