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Five RNAi-Related Patent Applications Published by the US Patent Office: Sep 10, 2004

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Title: Polycyclic Sugar Surrogate-Containing Oligomeric Compounds and Compositions for Use in Gene Modulation. Number: 20040171570. Filed: Nov. 4, 2003. Lead Inventor: Charles Allerson, Isis Pharmaceuticals.

The patent application, its abstract states, covers “compositions comprising first and second oligomers … wherein at least a portion of the first oligomer is capable of hybridizing with at least a portion of the second oligomer; at least a portion of the first oligomer is complementary to and capable of hybridizing to a selected target nucleic acid; and at least one of the first or second oligomers includes a modification comprising a polycyclic sugar surrogate. Oligomer/protein compositions are also provided comprising an oligomer complementary to and capable of hybridizing to a selected target nucleic acid and at least one protein comprising at least a portion of an RNA-induced silencing complex, wherein at least one nucleoside of the oligomer has a polycyclic sugar surrogate modification.”


Title: Antisense Oligonucleotide Modulation of Human Serine/Threonine Protein Phosphatase Gene Expression. Number: 20040171564. Filed: July 23, 2003. Lead Inventor: Richard Honkanen, University of South Alabama.

“Oligonucleotides are provided which are targeted to nucleic acids encoding human serine/threonine protein phosphatases and which are capable of inhibiting protein phosphatase expression,” the patent application’s abstract states. “Methods of inhibiting the expression of human protein serine/threonine phosphatases using oligonucleotides of the invention are also provided, [as are] methods of preventing or inhibiting hyperproliferation of cells and methods of treating abnormal conditions.”


Title: Methods for Directing DNA Methylation in Mammalian Cells Using Homologous Short Double-Stranded RNAs. Number: 20040171118. Filed: Feb. 12, 2004. Lead Inventor: John Rossi, City of Hope.

“The invention provides methods for methylating a gene of interest in a cell,” the patent application’s abstract states. “The methods include exposing a mammalian cell to an siRNA molecule which is specific for a gene of interest in the cell. The methods also include introducing into the cell DNA sequences encoding a sense strand and an antisense strand of an siRNA which is specific for the gene of interest,” it adds.


Title: Preparations and Use of Single-Stranded Transcription Substrates for Synthesis of Transcription Products Corresponding to Target Sequences. Number: 20040171041. Filed: Nov. 21, 2003. Lead Inventor: Gary Dahl, Epicenter Technologies.

“The … invention provides methods, compositions, and kits for using an RNA polymerase for making transcription products corresponding to a target sequence by obtaining single-stranded DNA transcription substrates that comprise a single-stranded promoter that is operably joined to a single-stranded target sequence,” the patent application’s abstract states. “The invention has broad applicability for research, diagnostic and therapeutic applications, such as preparing cDNA corresponding to full-length mRNA, making sense or anti-sense probes, ... or making RNA for use in RNAi.”


Title: Antivirus RNA. Number: 20040170963. Filed: Dec. 3, 2003. Lead Inventor: Ih-Jen Su, National Cheng-Kung University.

According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention comprises “an RNA molecule for inhibiting expression of a gene of a virus, [as well as] a DNA vector encoding the RNA molecule, … a pharmaceutical composition containing the RNA molecule or vector and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, [and] methods for inhibiting expression of a gene of a virus, replication of the virus, and infection with the virus.”

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