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IP Update: Recent Patents, Patent Applications Awarded to Alcon, Alnylam, Thermo Fisher, and More

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Title: Lipophilic Nucleic Acid Delivery Vehicle and Methods of Use Thereof

Patent Number: 8,268,796

Filed: June 26, 2009

Inventor: Robert Ryan, Children's Hospital & Research Center

The patent, its abstract states, claims “compositions and methods for delivery of nucleic acids to individuals and to cells, including nucleic acid-delivery particles ... comprising a lipid-binding polypeptide, a lipid bilayer comprising one or more cationic lipids, and a nucleic acid.”


Title: Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor-Mediated siRNA Delivery

Patent Number: 8,268,798

Filed: June 1, 2011

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 … family member. Therapeutic uses for the conjugates are also provided.”


Title: Compositions and Methods for Inhibiting Expression of the HAMP Gene

Patent Number: 8,268,799

Filed: July 15, 2011

Lead Inventor: Tomoko Nakayama, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“The invention relates to a double-stranded ribonucleic acid for inhibiting the expression of the HAMP gene comprising an antisense strand having a nucleotide sequence which is less than 30 nucleotides in length, generally 19 [to] 25 nucleotides in length, and which is substantially complementary to at least a part of the HAMP gene,” the patent's abstract states. “The invention also relates to a pharmaceutical composition comprising the dsRNA together with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, methods for treating diseases caused by HAMP gene expression, and the expression of the HAMP gene using the pharmaceutical composition.”


Title: siRNA Targeting Amyloid Beta Precursor Protein

Patent Number: 8,268,985

Filed: Sept. 20, 2010

Lead Inventor: Anastasia Khvorova, Dharmacon (Thermo Fisher Scientific)

“Efficient sequence-specific gene silencing is possible through the use of siRNA technology,” the patent's abstract states. “By selecting particular siRNAs by rational design, one can maximize the generation of an effective gene-silencing reagent, as well as methods for silencing genes. Methods, compositions, and kits generated through rational design of siRNAs are disclosed including those directed to nucleotide sequences for APP.”


Title: RNA Interference-Mediated Inhibition of Gene Expression Using Chemically Modified Short Interfering Nucleic Acid

Patent Number: 8,268,986

Filed: May 11, 2011

Lead Inventor: Leonid Beigelman, Merck

The invention, the patent's abstract states, “concerns methods and reagents useful in modulating gene expression in a variety of applications, including use in therapeutic, diagnostic, target validation, and genomic discovery applications. Specifically, the invention relates to synthetic chemically modified small nucleic acid molecules … capable of mediating RNA interference against target nucleic acid sequences. The small nucleic acid molecules are useful in the treatment of any disease or condition that responds to modulation of gene expression or activity in a cell, tissue, or organism.”


Title: Detection of Nucleic Acids

Application Number: 20120231461

Filed: May 24, 2012

Lead Inventor: Hatim Allawi, Third Wave Technologies

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, “relates to compositions and methods for the detection and characterization of small nucleic acid molecules. ... More particularly, the ... invention relates to methods for the detection and quantification of RNA expression … [and] further provides for the detection of miRNA and siRNA variants.”


Title: Multi-Target Interfering RNA Molecules and Their Applications

Application Number: 20120232126

Filed: March 8, 2012

Lead Inventor: York Zhu, Biomics Biotechnologies

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, relates to “interfering RNA molecules and their applications, especially [multi-target] iRNA molecules. … The said [multi-target] iRNA molecules [are] comprised of a sense strand annealed onto at least one antisense strand, [with] each strand ... at least 30 nucleotides in length.”

The sense and antisense strand have “at least two segments, which can target at least two RNAs of different genes, or can target at least two portions of an RNA,” the abstract adds. “The iRNA does not induce an interferon-response when transfected into a cell … [and] can interfere with the translation procedure post-transcription. … The RNA molecules are the active ingredient in preparation of the drug which can regulate one or many gene functions.”


Title: Treatment of Influenza

Application Number: 20120232128

Filed: May 11, 2012

Lead Inventor: Misako Nakazawa, Kyorin Pharmaceutical

The invention comprises “a double-stranded RNA [that] inhibits replication of influenza B viruses by RNA interference,” the patent application's abstract states. “The double-stranded RNA comprises an RNA having 19 to 25 nucleotides homologous with a part of an mRNA transcribed from a genomic RNA of the influenza B viruses and an antisense RNA thereof.”

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.