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Four RNAi-Related Patent Applications Published By US Patent Office

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Title: Compounds for Targeting Hepatocytes In Vivo. Number: 20040029826. Filed: Aug. 4, 2003. Lead Inventor: Alexander Sokoloff, Mirus.

The patent application, its abstract states, covers “compounds that bind to and are internalized by hepatocytes. Association of these compounds to other molecules or complexes can be used to target the molecules or complexes to hepatocytes in vivo or in vitro,” it adds.

Specifically, the application covers an RNA function inhibitor as a drug that has been attached to a T7 ligand.


Title: Intron Double-Stranded RNA Constructs and Uses Thereof. Number: 20040029283. Filed: June 20, 2003. Inventor: JoAnne Fillatti, Calgene.

According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention “is in the field of plant genetics and provides agents capable of gene-specific silencing.” The invention, the abstract notes, “provides double-stranded RNA agents, methods for utilizing such agents, and plants containing such agents.”

The patent application specifically claims “a nucleic acid construct comprising DNA which is transcribed into RNA that forms at least one double-stranded RNA molecule,” wherein one strand is between 90 percent and 100 percent identical to at least one transcribed intron of a gene.

This construct, the application states, comprises “one strand of an intron, a spliceable intron, and the complement of said intron, wherein said spliceable intron provides a hairpin structure, and wherein said intron and said complement of said intron can hybridize to each other.”


Title: Methods and Compositions for Reducing Target Gene Expression Using Cocktails of siRNAs or Constructs Expressing siRNAs. Number: 20040029275. Filed: Nov. 15, 2002. Lead Inventor: David Brown, Ambion.

“The present invention concerns methods and compositions involving the production or generation of siRNA mixtures or pools capable of triggering RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) in a cell,” the patent application’s abstract states. “Compositions of the invention include [reagent kits] for producing or generating siRNA pools.”

The abstract adds that the invention “further concerns methods using polypeptides with RNase III activity for generating siRNA mixtures or pools that effect RNAi.”


Title: Nucleic Acid Molecules Associated with Oil in Plants. Number: 20040025202. Filed: March 14, 2003. Lead Inventor: Cathy Laurie, Monsanto.

The patent application’s abstract states that “polynucleotides that encode proteins associated with oil content in plants are useful constructs to make transgenic plants … with desirable oil content phenotype and progeny of any generation derived from the fertile transgenic plants.”

The application notes that “an alternative aspect of [the] invention employs gene suppression technology, e.g. RNAi gene suppression, to provide transgenic plant seeds having a recombinant DNA construct, which includes DNA effective for suppression of an oil-associated gene.”

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