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IP Update: Apr 28, 2011


Title: Vector Constructs

Patent Number: 7,932,062

Filed: March 26, 2008

Lead Inventor: Geert Karel Maria Plaetinck, Devgen

The invention, the patent's abstract states, comprises “improved vector constructs useful in the expression of double-stranded RNA. ... The constructs are particularly useful for expression of double-stranded RNA in vitro and in vivo.”

Title: Down-Regulation of Gene Expression Using Artificial microRNAs

Application Number: 20110091975

Filed: Dec. 17, 2008

Inventor: Brian McGonicle, DuPont

The invention comprises “isolated nucleic acid fragments comprising precursor miRNAs and artificial miRNAs and their use in down-regulating gene expression,” according to the patent application's abstract.

Title: Method of Treating Neurodegenerative Disease

Application Number: 20110092565

Filed: March 31, 2009

Lead Inventor: David Bumcrot, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“Aspects featured in the invention relate to compositions and methods for inhibiting alpha-synuclein gene expression, such as for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders,” the patent application's abstract states. “An anti-SNCA agent featured herein that targets the SNCA gene can have been modified to alter distribution in favor of neural cells.”

Title: Administration of Exogenous mi/siRNA

Application Number: 20110092569

Filed: Oct. 19, 2010

Lead Inventor: Christina Leslie, Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research

“Certain genes controlled by endogenous miRNA are actually up-regulated upon the transfection of exogenous mi/siRNA,” the patent application's abstract states. “Based on this, methods of determining whether administration of mi/siRNA will have a deleterious effect by up-regulating certain genes are provided. Comparison of sequences of exogenous mi/siRNA allows selection of exogenous miRNA to be administered to [a] cell to enhance or limit this affect, and therefore to control unwanted disregulation, or to up-regulate an endogenous miRNA-regulated gene of interest.”

Title: Composition and Methods for siRNA Inhibition of ICAM-1

Application Number: 20110092571

Filed: Nov. 22, 2010

Lead Inventor: Sam Reich, University of Pennsylvania (Opko Health)

“RNA interference using small interfering RNAs ... specific for the ICAM-1 gene inhibits expression of this gene,” the patent application's abstract states. “Diseases which involve ICAM-1-mediated cell adhesion, such as inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, diabetic retinopathy, and other complications arising from type I diabetes, age-related macular degeneration, and many types of cancer, can be treated by administering the small interfering RNAs.”

Title: siRNA of Human Osteopontin

Application Number: 20110092575

Filed: June 6, 2008

Lead Inventor: Toshimitsu Uede, Gene Techno Science

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, comprises “siRNA for suppressing expression of human osteopontin in a more specific and strong manner, and a composition and a medicine comprising the same.”

Title: Lipid Nanoparticle-Based Compositions and Methods for the Delivery of Biologically Active Molecules

Application Number: 20110092739

Filed: Dec. 20, 2010

Lead Inventor: Tongqian Chen, Sirna Therapeutics (Merck)

The invention “relates to novel cationic lipids, transfection agents, microparticles, nanoparticles, and short interfering nucleic acid molecules,” according to the patent application's abstract. “The invention also features compositions and methods of use for the study, diagnosis, and treatment of traits, diseases, and conditions that respond to the modulation of gene expression and/or activity in a subject or organism. Specifically, the invention relates to novel cationic lipids, microparticles, nanoparticles and transfection agents that effectively transfect or deliver biologically active molecules ... and small nucleic acid molecules ... to relevant cells and/or tissues, such as in a subject or organism. Such novel cationic lipids, microparticles, nanoparticles, and transfection agents are useful, for example, in providing compositions to prevent, inhibit, or treat diseases, conditions, or traits in a cell, subject or organism.”

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.