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IP Update: Jun 30, 2011

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Title: Use of RNA Interference to Validate New Termiticide Target Sites and a Method of Termite Control

Patent Number: 7,968,525

Filed: Nov. 26, 2008

Lead Inventor: Michael Scharf, University of Florida

The invention, the patent's abstract states, comprises “methods, matrix compositions, and kits for increasing the mortality of termites and interfering with termite development using RNA interference techniques to target cellulase, lignocellulase, hexamerin, broad, farnesoic acid methyl transferase, cytochrome P450, and vitellogenin activity.”


Title: Furin Knockdown Bi-Functional RNA

Application Number: 20110150832

Filed: Dec. 20, 2010

Lead Inventor: John Nemunaitis, Gradalis

The patent application, its abstract states, claims “compositions and methods to attenuate the immunosuppressive activity of TGF-beta through the use of bi-functional shRNAs. ... The bi-functional shRNAs … [knock] down the expression of furin in cancer cells to augment tumor antigen expression, presentation, and processing through expression of the GM-CSF transgene.”


Title: Amphiphilic Block Co-Polymers for Nucleic Acid Delivery

Application Number: 20110151013

Filed: May 14, 2009

Lead Inventor: Andrew Lennard Lewis, Biocompatibles UK

The invention comprises “a composition comprising vesicles and encapsulated … nucleic acid comprising less than 1,000 nucleotides, wherein the vesicles comprise an amphiphilic block copolymer having a hydrophilic and a hydrophobic block,” the patent application's abstract states. “Methods of forming vesicles and methods of delivering nucleic acid, in particular, iRNA into cells, are also provided.”


Title: Virus-Specific miRNA Signatures for Diagnosis and Therapeutic Treatment of Viral Infection

Application Number: 20110151430

Filed: March 4, 2010

Lead Inventor: Timothy Kowalik, University of Massachusetts

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, relates to microRNA “signatures and diagnostic and therapeutic applications of miRNA signatures. The miRNA signatures are defined by a test sample miRNA profile relative to an appropriate control miRNA profile. In some embodiments, the test sample is a sample isolated, obtained, or derived from a virus-infected cell or organism.

“The ... invention further relates to the use of miRNA signatures in the identification of druggable targets and antiviral agents,” the abstract adds. “Kits and compositions are also provided.”


Title: shRNA-Mediated Inhibition of Expression of Alpha-1,6-Fucosyltransferase

Application Number: 20110151513

Filed: Dec. 1, 2010

Lead Inventor: Vincent Beuger, Roche

The invention comprises “a method for producing a heterologous polypeptide with a reduced degree of fucose modification in a mammalian cell by cultivating the mammalian cell under conditions suitable for the expression of said heterologous polypeptide, and recovering the heterologous polypeptide from the mammalian cell or the culture, wherein in said mammalian cell the enzymatic activity of alpha-1,6-fucosyltransferase is reduced by means of an shRNA directed against alpha-1,6-fucosyltransferase mRNA,” the patent application's abstract states.


Title: Methods and Compositions for Reducing Target Gene Expression Using Cocktails of siRNAs or Constructs Expressing siRNAs

Application Number: 20110151558

Filed: March 3, 2011

Lead Inventor: David Brown, Life Technologies

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, “concerns methods and compositions involving the production or generation of siRNA mixtures or pools capable of triggering RNA-mediated interference in a cell. Compositions of the invention include kits that include reagents for producing or generating siRNA pools.

“The ... invention further concerns methods using polypeptides with RNase III activity for generating siRNA mixtures or pools that effect RNAi, including the generation of a number of RNA molecules to the same target gene,” it adds.


Title: Use of Oligonucleotides with Modified Bases in Hybridization of Nucleic Acids

Application Number: 20110152346

Filed: Nov. 5, 2008

Lead Inventor: Mati Karleson, Baltic Technology Development

“The invention is concerned with the use of oligonucleotide analogs that contain specifically modified DNA bases to be used in hybridization of nucleic acids, polymerase chain reaction, and siRNA-mediated gene silencing,” the patent application's abstract states.


Title: Methods and Compositions for Controlling Efficacy of RNA Silencing

Application Number: 20110152347

Filed: June 7, 2010

Lead Inventor: Phillip Zamore, University of Massachusetts

“Based at least in part on an understanding of the mechanisms by which small RNAs mediate RNA silencing in plants, rules have been established for determining, for example, the degree of complementarity required between an RNAi-mediating agent and its target, i.e., whether mismatches are tolerated, the number of mismatches tolerated, [and] the effect of the position of the mismatches,” the patent application's abstract states. “Such rules are useful, in particular, in the design of improved RNAi-mediating agents which allow for more exact control of the efficacy of RNA silencing.”


Title: Compositions and Methods for Inhibiting Expression of IL-18 Genes

Application Number: 20110152349

Filed: Dec. 14, 2010

Lead Inventor: Anke Geick, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“The invention relates to a double-stranded ribonucleic acid for inhibiting the expression of [an] IL-18 gene,” the patent application's abstract states. “The invention also relates to a pharmaceutical composition comprising the dsRNA or nucleic acid molecules or vectors encoding the same together with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier; methods for treating diseases caused by the expression of [an] IL-18 gene using said pharmaceutical composition; and methods for inhibiting the expression of IL-18 in a cell.”


Title: Compositions and Methods for Inhibiting Expression of XBP-1 Gene

Application Number: 20110152350

Filed: Dec. 16, 2010

Lead Inventor: Kevin Fitzgerald, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“The invention relates to a double-stranded ribonucleic acid targeting X-Box Protein 1 (XBP-1), and methods of using the dsRNA to inhibit expression of XBP-1,” the patent application's abstract states.


Title: SMAD Proteins Control Drosha-Mediated miRNA Maturation

Application Number: 20110152352

Filed: June 10, 2009

Lead Inventor: Akiko Hata, Tufts University

“The invention, in some aspects, relates to compositions and methods useful for modulating expression of miRNAs that are regulated by the TGF-beta/BMP signaling pathway,” the patent application's abstract states.
“In some aspects, the invention relates to oligonucleotides comprising a CAGRN-motif that modulate expression of miRNAs that are regulated by TGF-beta/BMP signaling pathway.”

In other aspects, it relates to a “composition and methods useful for inhibiting microRNA processing,” or a composition and methods for treating TGF-beta/BMP-mediated disorders, it adds.


Title: Double-Stranded Polynucleotide

Application Number: 20110152353

Filed: June 30, 2009

Lead Inventor: Makoto Moizumi, Daiichi Sankyo

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, comprises “a double-stranded polynucleotide that is resistant to RNase and has [an] RNA interference effect. ... The ... double-stranded polynucleotide [is made of] sense and antisense strands comprising polynucleotides comprising a nucleotide unit of DNAs and 2'-O-methyl RNAs alternately combined.”


Title: Novel RNAi Therapeutics for Treatment of Hepatitis C Infection

Application Number: 20110152356

Filed: Feb. 28, 2011

Inventor: Hengli Tang, Florida State University

The invention comprises “small interfering RNAs or small hairpin RNA and compositions ... that specifically target human cyclophilin A to effectively inhibit hepatitis C infection in a cell,” according to the patent application's abstract. “Such siRNA and shRNAs may have a length of from about 19 to about 29 contiguous nucleotides corresponding to a specific region of human cyclophilin A cDNA .”


Title: microRNA-Based Composition and Methods for the Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Treatment of Multiple Myeloma

Application Number: 20110152357

Filed: Aug. 12, 2009

Inventor: Carlo Croce, Ohio State University

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, comprises “methods for assessing a pathological condition in a subject, [which] includes measuring an expression profile of one or more markers where a difference is indicative of multiple myeloma or a predisposition to” the disease. The invention provides “novel methods and compositions for the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of” multiple myeloma and methods of identifying anti-cancer agents.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge is weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.