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IP Update: Recent Patents Awarded to Alcon, Alnylam, Regulus, and More

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Title: Compositions and Methods for Inhibiting Expression of a Target Gene

Patent Number: 8,546,143

Filed: Sept. 29, 2010

Lead Inventor: Roland Kreutzer, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

The invention, the patent's abstract states, "relates to a double-stranded ribonucleic acid having a nucleotide sequence which is substantially identical to at least a part of a target gene and which is no more than 49, preferably less than 25, nucleotides in length, and which comprises a complementary RNA strand having a 1 to 4 nucleotide overhang at the 3'-end and a blunt 5'-end. The invention further relates to a pharmaceutical composition comprising the dsRNA and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. The pharmaceutical compositions are useful for inhibiting the expression of a target gene, as well as for treating diseases caused by expression of the target gene, at low dosages. The invention also relates to methods for inhibiting the expression of a target gene, as well as methods for treating diseases caused by the expression of the gene."


Title: siRNA Targeting VEGFA and Methods for Treatment In Vivo

Patent Number: 8,546,349

Filed: July 26, 2011

Lead Inventor: Anja Smith, Thermo Fisher Scientific (Alcon)

"Vascular endothelial growth factor A is a chemical signal produced by cells that stimulates the growth of new blood vessels, and overexpression of VEGFA can lead to undesirable physiological conditions," according to the patent's abstract. "Through the identification of new siRNA and modifications that improve the silencing ability of these siRNA in vivo, therapeutic compositions and methods have been invented to address the problems associated with this overexpression."


Title: Oligomeric Compounds and Compositions for Use in Modulation of Small, Non-coding RNAs

Patent Number: 8,546,350

Filed: Jan. 26, 2012

Lead Inventor: Frank Bennett, Regulus Therapeutics

The invention comprises "compounds, compositions, and methods … for modulating the expression and function of small non-coding RNAs," the patent's abstract states. "The compositions comprise oligomeric compounds, targeted to small non-coding RNAs. Methods of using these compounds for modulation of small non-coding RNAs, as well as downstream targets of these RNAs, and for diagnosis and treatment of disease associated with small non-coding RNAs are also provided."


Title: Lipid-formulated Compositions and Methods for Inhibiting Expression of Serum Amyloid A Gene

Patent Number: 8,546,554

Filed: June 8, 2011

Lead Inventor: Antonin de Fougerolles, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

"The invention relates to a double-stranded ribonucleic acid targeting a serum amyloid A gene, and methods of using the dsRNA to inhibit expression" of the gene, the patent's abstract states.


Title: Grain Quality through Altered Expression of Seed Proteins

Patent Number: 8,546,646

Filed: Sept. 14, 2012

Lead Inventor: Rudolf Jung, Pioneer Hi-Bred International

The invention, the patent's abstract states, is directed to "compositions and methods for altering the levels of seed proteins in cereal grain … resulting in grain with increased digestibility/nutrient availability, improved amino acid composition/nutritional value, increased response to feed processing, improved silage quality, and increased efficiency of wet milling." The patent specifically claims the use of RNAi to alter target gene expression.

The Scan

Driving Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes Down

Researchers from the UK and Italy have tested a gene drive for mosquitoes to limit the spread of malaria, NPR reports.

Office Space to Lab Space

The New York Times writes that some empty office spaces are transforming into lab spaces.

Prion Pause to Investigate

Science reports that a moratorium on prion research has been imposed at French public research institutions.

Genome Research Papers on Gut Microbe Antibiotic Response, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Clues to Metabolism, More

In Genome Research this week: gut microbial response to antibiotic treatment, approach to gauge metabolic features from single-cell RNA sequencing, and more.