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IP Update: Apr 22, 2010

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Title: Methods of Treating Ocular Conditions

Patent Number: 7,700,575

Filed: Oct. 12, 2006

Lead Inventor: Andrew Huang, University of Minnesota

The invention, the patent's abstract states, "provides siRNA specific for myocilin and mutant myocilin, and methods of treating ocular conditions and/or diseases."


Title: Methods and Compositions Related to Gene Silencing

Patent Number: 7,700,758

Filed: July 18, 2003

Lead Inventor: George Tzertzinis, New England Biolabs

The invention, the patent's abstract states, comprises "a method for obtaining a mixture of heterogenous short double-stranded RNA molecules suitable for use in gene silencing by subjecting large double-stranded RNA to enzymatic cleavage under specified conditions. The resulting mixture consistently includes enhanced representation of fragments having a size of 21 [to] 22 nucleotides absent any fractionation step. The fragments contain sequences that collectively span the entire length of the large double-stranded RNA from which they are derived.

"Double-stranded RNA with sequences that individually represent segments of a target mRNA may be analyzed using the methods described herein to identify the most active subset of hsiRNA fragments or individual siRNA fragments for achieving gene silencing for any gene or transcribed sequences," the abstract adds. "A method is additionally provided for preparing and cloning DNA encoding selected siRNA, hsiRNA mixtures, or hairpin sequences to provide a continuous supply of a gene silencing reagent derived from any long double-stranded RNA."


Title: RNA Interference-Mediated Inhibition of Vascular Cells Adhesion Molecule Gene Expression Using Short Interfering Nucleic Acid

Patent Number: 7,700,760

Filed: Sept. 2, 2008

Lead Inventor: James McSwiggen, Sirna Therapeutics (Merck)

"This invention relates to compounds, compositions, and methods useful for modulating vascular cell adhesion molecule gene expression using short interfering nucleic acid molecules," the patent'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 vascular cell adhesion molecule gene expression and/or activity by RNA interference using small nucleic acid molecules … and methods used to modulate the expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule genes, such as vascular cell adhesion molecule-1."


Title: Bacteria-Mediated Gene Silencing

Application Number: 20100092438

Filed: Dec. 8, 2009

Lead Inventor: Johannes Fruehauf, Cequent Pharmaceuticals

The patent application, its abstract states, claims "methods … for the delivery of one or more small interfering RNAs to a eukaryotic cell using a bacterium. … Methods are also described for using this bacterium to regulate gene expression in eukaryotic cells using RNA interference, and methods for treating viral diseases and disorders.

"The bacterium or BTP includes one or more siRNAs or one or more DNA molecules encoding one or more siRNAs," the abstract notes. "Vectors are also described for use with the bacteria of the invention for causing RNA interference in eukaryotic cells."


Title: Chitosan-Based Colloidal Particles for RNA Delivery

Application Number: 20100092572

Filed: Jan. 23, 2008 PCT Filed: Jan. 23, 2008

Lead Inventor: Peter Kaeuper, Medipol

"The invention provides new colloidal particles of negative zeta potential comprising a ribonucleic acid, a chitosan, and a polyanion, and compositions comprising such particles," the patent application's abstract states. "The compositions are useful for delivery of ribonucleic acids into mammalian cells in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo."


Title: Tripartite Oligonucleotide Complexes and Methods for Gene Silencing by RNA Interference

Application Number: 20100093085

Filed: Sept. 20, 2007 PCT Filed: Sept. 20, 2007

Lead Inventor: Christina Yamada, Dharmacon (Thermo Fisher Scientific)

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, comprises "tripartite oligonucleotide complexes [that] can be administered to a cell, tissue, or organism to silence a target gene. The tripartite oligonucleotide complexes of the disclosure may include a conjugate moiety that facilitates delivery to a cell, tissue, or organism without the aid of a transfection reagent."


Title: Nucleic Acid Compounds for Inhibiting Angiogenesis and Tumor Growth

Application Number: 20100093831

Filed: Sept. 1, 2009

Lead Inventor: Ramachandra Reddy, VasGene Therapeutics

The patent application, its abstract states, "provides nucleic acid compounds, compositions, and methods for inhibiting Ephrin B2 or EphB4 expression. In certain embodiments, the … disclosure provides methods and compositions for treating cancer or for treating angiogenesis-associated diseases" using an RNAi approach.


Title: RNA Interference-Mediated Inhibition of Myc and/or Myb Gene Expression Using Short Interfering Nucleic Acid

Application Number: 20100093835

Filed: Dec. 10, 2009

Lead Inventor: James McSwiggen, Sirna Therapeutics (Merck)

"This invention relates to compounds, compositions, and methods useful for modulating Myc and/or Myb 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 Myc and/or Myb gene expression and/or activity by RNA interference using small nucleic acid molecules … and methods used to modulate the expression of Myc and/or Myb genes. The small nucleic acid molecules are useful in the treatment of cancer and other diseases and disorders."


Title: microRNA Molecules

Application Number: 20100093837

Filed: Aug. 31, 2009

Lead Inventor: Thomas Tuschl, Rockefeller University (Max Planck Institute)

"In Caenorhabditis elegans, lin-4 and let-7 encode 22- and 21-nucleotide RNAs, respectively, that function as key regulators of developmental timing," the patent application's abstract states. "Because the appearance of these short RNAs is regulated during development, they are also referred to as small temporal RNAs. We show that many more 21- and 22-nt expressed RNAs, termed microRNAs, exist in invertebrates and vertebrates, and that some of these novel RNAs, similar to let-7 stRAN, are also highly conserved. This suggests that sequence-specific post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms mediated by small RNAs are more general than previously appreciated."


Title: Inhibitor Nucleic Acids

Application Number: 20100093987

Filed: Oct. 8, 2009

Inventor: Mark Davis, California Institute of Technology (Calando Pharmaceuticals)

The invention "provides methods and compositions for attenuating expression of a target gene in vivo," the patent application's abstract states. "In general, the method includes administering RNAi constructs, such as small-interfering RNAs … targeted to particular mRNA sequences or nucleic acid material that can produce siRNAs in a cell in an amount sufficient to attenuate expression of a target gene by an RNA interference mechanism. In particular, the RNAi constructs may include one or more modifications to improve serum stability, cellular uptake and/or to avoid non-specific effect.

"In certain embodiments, the RNAi constructs contain an aptamer portion," the abstract adds. "The aptamer may bind to human serum albumin to improve serum half life. The aptamer may also bind to a cell surface protein that improves uptake of the construct."

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.