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IP Update: Recent Patents Awarded to Tekmira, Asuragen, Alcon, and More

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Title: Methods and Compositions Involving microRNA

Patent Number: 8,568,971

Filed: Sept. 24, 2010

Lead Inventor: David Brown, Asuragen

The invention, the patent's abstract states, "concerns methods and compositions for isolating, enriching, and/or labeling miRNA molecules and for preparing and using arrays or other detection techniques for miRNA analysis. Moreover, the … invention concerns methods and compositions for generating miRNA profiles and employing such profiles for therapeutic, diagnostic, and prognostic applications."

The patent specifically claims the diagnostic use of miR-21 in various cancers.


Title: Compositions and Methods for the Delivery of Biologically Active RNAs

Patent Number: 8,569,065

Filed: March 15, 2010

Lead Inventor: Kevin Polach, Egen

The invention, the patent's abstract states, relates to "novel compounds, compositions, and methods for the delivery of biologically active RNA molecules to cells. Specifically, the invention provides novel nucleic acid molecules, polypeptides, and RNA-protein complexes useful for the delivery of biologically active RNAs to cells and polynucleotides encoding the same. The invention also provides vectors for expressing said polynucleotides … [as well as] cells and compositions comprising the novel compounds and vectors, which can be used as transfection reagents.

"The invention further provides methods for producing said compounds, vectors, cells, and compositions," according to the abstract. "Additionally, vectors and methods for delivering biologically active RNA molecules to cells and/or tissues are provided."


Title: Cationic Lipids and Methods for the Delivery of Therapeutic Agents

Patent Number: 8,569,256

Filed: June 30, 2010

Lead Inventor: James Heyes, Protiva Biotherapeutics (Tekmira Pharmaceuticals)

The invention provides "compositions and methods for the delivery of therapeutic agents to cells," the patent's abstract states. "In particular, these include novel cationic lipids and nucleic acid-lipid particles that provide efficient encapsulation of nucleic acids and efficient delivery of the encapsulated nucleic acid to cells in vivo. The compositions of the … invention are highly potent, thereby allowing effective knockdown of a specific target protein at relatively low doses. In addition, the compositions and methods of the … invention are less toxic and provide a greater therapeutic index compared to compositions and methods previously known in the art."


Title: Low-density Lipoprotein Receptor-mediated siRNA Delivery

Patent Number: 8,569,258

Filed: Aug. 13, 2012

Inventor: Jon Chatterton, Alcon

"The invention provides interfering RNA molecule-ligand conjugates useful as a delivery system for delivering interfering RNA molecules to a cell in vitro or in vivo," the patent's abstract states. "The conjugates comprise a ligand that can bind to a low-density lipoprotein receptor or … family member. Therapeutic uses for the conjugates are also provided."


Title: Method for Transformation of Grasses

Patent Number: 8,569,582

Filed: June 22, 2010

Inventor: Zeng-Yu Wang, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

The invention, the patent's abstract states, relates to "methods for transforming grass plants with Agrobacterium. The invention allows creation of transgenic grass plants without the need for callus as a target tissue for transformation, thus providing a rapid method for the production of transgenic grass plants. Transgenic grass plants produced by this method are also provided."


Title: Generating Transgenic Potatoes with Novel Resistance to Potato Cyst Nematodes by Silencing Nematode Parasitism Genes of CLE-1 and CLE-4s

Patent Number: 8,569,578

Filed: July 30, 2010

Lead Inventor: Xiaohong Wang, US Department of Agriculture

The invention, the patent states, relates to a polynucleotide that produces a dsRNA hairpin that can inhibit the growth of a Globodera rostochiensis nematode by silencing CLE genes, and its use in controlling populations of the parasite.

The Scan

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.

Fragile X Syndrome Mutations Found With Comprehensive Testing Method

Researchers in Clinical Chemistry found fragile X syndrome expansions and other FMR1 mutations with ties to the intellectual disability condition using a long-range PCR and long-read sequencing approach.

Team Presents Strategy for Speedy Species Detection in Metagenomic Sequence Data

A computational approach presented in PLOS Computational Biology produced fewer false-positive species identifications in simulated and authentic metagenomic sequences.

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.