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Four RNAi-Related Patent Applications Published by the USPTO: Apr 22, 2005


Title: DsRNA-Induced Specific and Non-Specific Immunity in Crustaceans and Other Invertabrates and Biodelivery Vehicles for Use Therein.

Number: 20050080032.

Filed: July 2, 2004.

Inventor: Paul Gross, Medical University of South Carolina.

The patent application, its abstract states, covers "methods for inducing systemic, non-specific and/or sequence specific immune responses in invertebrates, e.g., marine invertebrates such as mollusks, porifera, ctenophora, echinodermas, marine worms, cnideria and preferably crustaceans, by the administration of at least one dsRNA that confers immunity against a pathogen, or modulates expression of gene that affects growth, reproduction, and general health or robustness. Also provided are methods of identifying invertebrate genes, e.g., crustacean genes, the expression of which is involved in the induction of non-specific (systemic) immune responses against pathogens."

The application further covers "preferred delivery systems and methods for stably administering at least one dsRNA to a crustacean whereby the dsRNA is administered via injection, immersion, in a feed or nutrient medium or comprised in a microorganism, e.g., yeast or microalgae, that expresses said dsRNA and is ingestible by said crustacean, e.g., a shrimp."

Title: Nucleic Acid Treatment of Disease or Conditions Related to Levels of Ras, HER2, and HIV.

Number: 20050080031.

Filed: Nov. 26, 2003.

Inventor: James McSwiggen, Sirna Therapeutics.

"The … invention relates to nucleic acid molecules, including enzymatic nucleic acid molecules, such as DNAzymes (e.g. DNA enzymes, catalytic DNA), siRNA, aptamers, and antisense that modulate the expression of Ras genes such as K-Ras, H-Ras, and/or N-Ras, HIV genes such as HIV-1, and HER2 genes," the patent application's abstract states.

Title: RNAs Able to Modulate Chromatin Silencing.

Number: 20050079614.

Filed: July 21, 2004.

Lead Inventor: Brenda Reinhart, Carnegie Institution.

"This invention generally relates to nucleotide sequences and, in particular, to nucleotide sequences able to bind to or otherwise associate with DNA or chromatin, or otherwise modulate chromatin silencing," the patent application's abstract states. "In certain embodiments, the nucleotide sequence may be present in (or encode for) a noncoding and/or nonexpressable RNA having less than 50 or 100 nucleotides, preferably about 20-30 nucleotides. In some cases, a precursor nucleic acid may be cleaved in some fashion to produce the nucleotide sequence.

"In one set of embodiments, the nucleotide sequences of the invention are not native to the cell, i.e., not normally present in the cell," the abstract states. "In certain cases, the nucleotide sequence may be a 20-25 nucleotide RNA molecule that occurs naturally in other cells and/or in other organisms, or the nucleotide sequence may be an artificially generated nucleotide sequence, and in such cases, the nucleotide sequence is referred to herein as heterochromatic small-interfering RNA, or heterochromatic siRNA. The nucleotide sequences may also be present within a nucleic-acid protein complex in certain embodiments. The nucleotide sequences of the invention may inhibit gene function, for example, by interacting with chromatin, and/or by transcriptionally inhibiting mRNA synthesis," it adds. "In certain cases, the heterochromatic siRNA of the invention can further posttranscriptionally inhibit gene function, e.g., by binding to mRNA. In some cases, inhibition of the gene may be epigenetic or may otherwise be stable for relatively long periods of time, i.e., chromatin may be epigenetically altered through interaction with the nucleotide sequence, for example, through altered methylation of DNA or histones."

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

Number: 20050079610.

Filed: Aug. 20, 2004.

Lead Inventor: Barry Polisky, Sirna Therapeutics.

"This invention relates to compounds, compositions, and methods useful for modulating c-Fos 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 c-Fos 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 c-Fos genes. The small nucleic acid molecules are useful in the treatment of cancer, proliferative diseases or conditions, inflammatory diseases or conditions, allergic diseases or conditions, infectious diseases or conditions, autoimmune diseases or conditions, or transplantation/allograft rejection in a subject or organism."

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