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IP Update: Recent Patents Awarded to Alnylam, UMass, Bayer CropScience, and More

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Title: Assessing Left Ventricle Remodeling via Temporal Detection and Measurement of microRNA in Body Fluids

Patent Number: 8,592,151

Filed: Nov. 11, 2010

Lead Inventor: Francis Spinale, Medical University of South Carolina

The patent, its abstract states, claims "methods and materials for assessing cardiac failure, cardiac hypertrophy, and left ventricular remodeling using microRNA levels. The level of microRNAs can be measured in a body fluid, such as plasma and serum."


Title: microRNAs that Regulate Muscle Cells

Patent Number: 8,592,384

Filed: April 4, 2006

Inventor: Deepak Srivastava, University of Texas

The invention comprises "microRNAs that regulate the differentiation, proliferation, and death of cardiac and skeletal muscles cells," the patent's abstract states. "These molecules represent unique targets in the developmental pathways of muscle cells. They also can be used as active agents to induce differentiation in progenitor cells, and their down-regulation permits the maintenance and expansion of progenitor cell populations."


Title: Compositions and Methods for Inhibiting Expression of an RNA from West Nile Virus

Patent Number: 8,592,570

Filed: Oct. 6, 2009

Lead Inventor: Dinah Sah, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

The invention, the patent's abstract states, "relates to double-stranded ribonucleic acid and its use in mediating RNA interference to inhibit the expression of an RNA from the West Nile virus, and the use of the dsRNA to treat pathological processes mediated by WNV infection such as viral encephalitis."


Title: RNAi Modulation of ApoB and Uses Thereof

Patent Number: 8,592,571

Filed: April 19, 2012

Lead Inventor: Juergen Soutschek, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

"The invention relates to compositions and methods for modulating the expression of apolipoprotein B, and more particularly to the downregulation of apolipoprotein B by chemically modified oligonucleotides," according to the patent's abstract.


Title: Liposome-containing shRNA Molecule Targeting a Thymidylate Synthase and Use Thereof

Patent Number: 8,592,572

Filed: Aug. 22, 2012

Lead Inventor: Tatsuhiro Ishida, Delta-Fly Pharma

The patent, its abstract states, claims "a method for delivering shRNA targeting [thymidylate synthase] in vivo." Also claimed are an antitumor agent comprised of shRNAs capable of inhibiting expression of thymidylate synthase by RNAi action and a PEG-modified cationic liposome, wherein the shRNA is bound to the surface of the PEG-modified cationic liposome and has an overhang comprising at least two nucleotides at the 3' end, the abstract adds.


Title: RNAi Modulation of RSV, PIV, and Other Respiratory Viruses and Uses Thereof

Patent Number: 8,598,134

Filed: July 23, 2010

Inventor: Sailen Barik, South Alabama Medical Science Foundation

The invention, the patent's abstract states, is "based on the in vivo demonstration that [respiratory syncytial virus] and [parainfluenza virus] can be inhibited through intranasal administration of RNAi agents, as well as by parenteral administration of such agents. Further, it is shown that effective viral reduction can be achieved with more than one virus being treated concurrently. Based on these findings, the … invention provides general and specific compositions and methods that are useful in reducing RSV or PIV mRNA levels, RSV or PIV protein levels, and viral titers in a subject. ... These findings can be applied to other respiratory viruses."


Title: Lipid-formulated dsRNA Targeting the PCSK9 Gene

Patent Number: 8,598,139

Filed: Aug. 7, 2012

Lead Inventor: Kevin Fitzgerald, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

"This invention relates to composition and methods using lipid-formulated siRNA targeted to a PCSK9 gene," the patent's abstract states.


Title: Sequence-specific Inhibition of Small RNA Function

Patent Number: 8,598,143

Filed: Nov. 19, 2008

Lead Inventor: Gyorgy Hutvagner, University of Massachusetts

The invention, the patent's abstract states, "provides compositions for sequence-specific inactivation of the RISC component of the RNA silencing pathway, and methods of use thereof. The RISC inactivators of the … invention enable a variety of methods for identifying and characterizing miRNAs and siRNAs, RISC-associated factors, and agents capable of modulating RNA silencing. Therapeutic methods and compositions incorporating RISC inactivators and therapeutic agents identified through use of RISC inactivators are also featured."


Title: siRNA Silencing of Genes Expressed in Cancer

Patent Number: 8,598,333

Filed: May 29, 2007

Lead Inventor: Ian MacLachlan, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (Alnylam Pharmaceuticals)

The invention provides "nucleic acid-lipid particles comprising siRNA molecules that silence genes expressed in cancer and methods of using such nucleic acid-lipid particles to silence [target] gene expression," according to the patent's abstract.


Title: Methods and Means for Obtaining Modified Phenotypes

Patent Number: 8,598,332

Filed: April 7, 1999

Lead Inventor: Peter Waterhouse, Bayer CropScience

The invention, the patent's abstract states, comprises "methods and means … for reducing the phenotypic expression of a nucleic acid of interest in eukaryotic cells, particularly in plant cells, by introducing chimeric genes encoding sense and antisense RNA molecules directed towards the target nucleic acid, which are capable of forming a double-stranded RNA region by base-pairing between the regions with sense and antisense nucleotide sequence or by introducing the RNA molecules themselves."

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.