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Five RNAi-Related Patent Applications Published by the USPTO: Jun 24, 2005

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Title: Method and Compositions for Inhibiting Tumorigenesis

Number: 20050130922

Filed: Aug. 29, 2004.

Inventor: Ariel Ruiz Altaba, New York University

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, "relates to compounds, small interfering RNAs and compositions and methods of inhibiting tumorigenesis and methods of inhibiting tumor cell growth and proliferation using agents that inhibit the hedgehog and Gli signaling pathway, including agents that inhibit GLI synthesis and/or function. The … invention also relates to particular biomarkers that can be used in the diagnosis and prognosis of prostate cancer," the abstract adds. "Methods of treating cancer, including prostate cancer are also provided using small organic compounds, siRNAs and blocking antibodies that inhibit or block the SHH/GLI pathway."


Title: Regulatable Promoters for Synthesis of Small Hairpin RNA

Number: 20050130919

Filed: July 19, 2004

Lead Inventor: Zuoshang Xu, University of Massachusetts

According to the patent application's abstract, the invention provides compositions for RNA interference and methods of use thereof. The … invention is based on the development of promoters that can be used to regulate shRNA expression spatially (in specific cells) and temporally (at specific times) in cells or transgenic animals that express a recombinase. The compositions and methods of the present invention feature regulatable promoters that allow for inhibition of the expression of target alleles in a spatially and temporally regulatable manner," the abstract notes.

"Thus, the compositions of the present invention are useful for investigating gene functions, both physiologic and pathologic, in specific cell groups and in specific ages, in normal and disease pathways," it adds. "Functional and genomic and proteomic methods are featured. Therapeutic methods are also featured."


Title: Enhanced Promoters for Synthesis of Small Hairpin RNA

Number: 20050130184

Filed: July 19, 2004

Lead Inventor: Zuoshang Xu, University of Massachusetts

The invention provides "compositions for RNA interference and methods of use thereof," the patent application's abstract states. "In particular, the invention provides small hairpin RNAs having modified promoters, including the Pol III U6 promoter, which may be used to increase the potency of shRNA by increasing the expression level. Modifications include constructs with a Pol II enhancer, such as the cytomegalovirus enhancer, immediate-early promoter near the Pol III, e.g., U6 promoter, either upstream or downstream from the shRNA sequence and in either forward or backward orientation. Such constructs are useful for increasing the expression of the shRNA, thereby enhancing inhibition of a single nucleotide mismatched mutant allele," the abstract adds. "Functional and genomic and proteomic methods are featured. Therapeutic methods are also featured."


Title: RNA Interference-Mediated Inhibition of Wingless Gene Expression Using Short Interfering Nucleic Acid

Number: 20050130181

Filed: June 30, 2004

Inventor: James McSwiggen, Sirna Therapeutics

"This invention relates to compounds, compositions, and methods useful for modulating wingless (WNT) 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 WNT 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 WNT genes such as WNT3A and WNT7A."


Title: Method for Opening Tight Junctions

Number: 20050129679

Filed: Dec. 10, 2004

Lead Inventor: Kunyuan Cui, Nastech Pharmaceuticals

According to the patent application's abstract, the invention relates to "the use of antagonists to JAM-1 Claudin-4 and occludin to open tight junctions. The antagonists include, by way of example antibodies and antibody fragments that bind to the proteins and small interfering nucleic acids that downregulate the mRNA encoding the proteins."

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