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IP Update: Recent Patents, Patent Applications Awarded to Alnylam; Isis; Merck; and More

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Title: Carbohydrate Conjugates as Delivery Agents for Oligonucleotides

Patent Number: 8,106,022

Filed: Dec. 4, 2008

Lead Inventor: Muthiah Manoharan, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

The invention provides “iRNA agents” of a predefined formula, according to the patent's abstract.


Title: Method of Treating Cancer with an RPN2 Gene Expression Inhibitor

Patent Number: 8,106,024

Filed: June 15, 2004

Lead Inventor: Takahiro Ochiya, Taisho Pharmaceutical

The invention, the patent's abstract states, “uses an RPN2 gene expression inhibitor as a cancer cell growth inhibitor … [and] includes a drug showing an anti-cancer action … [that] is administered in combination with atelocollagen." The abstract also describes the invention as a "cancer cell-growth inhibitor.”


Title: Method for Inhibiting the Activity of miR-155

Patent Number: 8,106,025

Filed: Dec. 31, 2008

Lead Inventor: Frank Bennett, Isis Pharmaceuticals

The invention, the patent's abstract states, comprises “compounds, compositions, and methods ... for modulating the expression and function of small non-coding RNAs. 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: Small Interfering RNA Specific to Sub-Units Alpha, Alpha', and Beta of the Kinase Protein CK2 and the Applications of the Same

Patent Number: 8,106,179

Filed: July 2, 2004

Lead Inventor: Beatrice Schaack, Frances' National Health and Medical Research Institute

“The invention relates to small interfering RNA specific to sub-units alpha, alpha', and beta of the kinase protein CK2, and to the applications of the same, especially for treating cancer and viral illnesses,” the patent's abstract states.


Title: Methods and Products for Expression of microRNAs

Patent Number: 8,106,180

Filed: Aug. 6, 2004

Lead Inventor: Chang-Zheng Chen, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

“The invention relates to microRNAs, methods of producing microRNAs, and methods for using microRNAs,” according to the patent's abstract.


Title: Methods for Producing Interfering RNA Molecules in Mammalian Cells and Therapeutic Uses for Such Molecules

Patent Number: 8,106,181

Filed: Feb. 22, 2010

Lead Inventor: John Rossi, City of Hope

The patent, its abstract states, comprises “methods for producing interfering RNA molecules in mammalian cells. ... Therapeutic uses for the expressed molecules, including inhibiting expression of HIV, are also provided.”


Title: Synthetic siRNA Detection Method

Application Number: 20120021420

Filed: July 20, 2011

Lead Inventor: Satoshi Yanagi, Takara Bio

The patent application, its abstract states, claims a “method for accurately and easily detecting a synthetic siRNA, for example, a siRNA in which the 3' end is DNA, and a kit used for the method are provided. The … invention relates to a method for detecting a siRNA in which the 3' end is DNA, [by] ... adding polydeoxyadenosine to the 3' DNA end of at least one strand of the siRNA to be detected to produce a polydeoxyadenosine-added RNA; annealing a polydeoxythymidine primer having a tag sequence at its 5' side to the polydeoxyadenosine-added RNA and synthesizing DNA from the primer by a reverse transcription; and detecting the DNA synthesized” in the previous step.


Title: Oligomeric Compounds and Methods

Application Number: 20120021515

Filed: Feb. 5, 2010

Lead Inventor: Eric Swayze, Isis Pharmaceuticals

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, “provides oligomeric compounds and uses thereof. In certain embodiments, such oligomeric compounds are useful as antisense compounds. Certain such antisense compounds are useful as RNase H antisense compounds, as RNAi compounds, and/or as modulators of splicing.”


Title: Novel Structurally Designed shRNAs

Application Number: 20120021516

Filed: Oct. 4, 2011

Lead Inventor: Gregory Hannon, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, comprises an “improved design of shRNA based on structural mimics of miR-451 precursors. These miR-451 shRNA mimics are channeled through a novel small RNA biogenesis pathway, require AGO2 catalysis, and are processed by Drosha, but are independent of Dicer processing. This miRNA pathway feeds active elements only into Ago2 because of its unique catalytic activity. These data demonstrate that this newly identified small RNA biogenesis pathway can be exploited in vivo to produce active molecules.”


Title: Sustained Release siRNA for Ocular Drug Delivery

Application Number: 20120022002

Filed: July 20, 2011

Lead Inventor: Hongwen Rivers, Allergan

The invention comprises “an ocular implant [made up of] siRNA complexed with a transfection agent selected from the group consisting of cationic lipids and short cell penetration peptides, wherein said complex is associated with a biocompatible polymer,” the patent application's abstract states. “Said biocompatible polymer comprises a polymeric matrix configured to release said complex into the eye of a patient at therapeutic levels for a time sufficient to treat an ocular condition or disease.”


Title: Method of Controlling Initial Drug Release of siRNA from Sustained-Release Implants

Application Number: 20120022137

Filed: July 20, 2011

Lead Inventor: Hongwen Rivers, Allergan

The patent application, its abstract states, claims “an intraocular implant comprising siRNA combined with a excipient effective to retard the initial release of the siRNA from an implant, wherein said siRNA and excipient is associated with a biocompatible polymer configured to release said siRNA into the eye of a patient at therapeutic levels for a time sufficient to treat an ocular condition or disease.”


Title: Means for Inhibiting the Expression of Ang2

Application Number: 20120022138

Filed: Feb. 18, 2010

Lead Inventor: Ansgar Santel, Silence Therapeutics

The invention is related to “an siRNA comprising an antisense strand and a sense strand, wherein all or a portion of … [the] antisense strand comprises an antisense duplex region … [and] all or a portion of [the] sense strand comprises a sense duplex region,” the patent application's abstract states.

The “antisense duplex region is at least partially complementary to [the] sense duplex region … [and the] siRNA comprises a duplex region consisting of [the] antisense duplex region and [the] sense duplex region,” it adds. The antisense strand is comprised of a predefined nucleotide sequence.


Title: Short Interfering Ribonucleic Acid for Oral Administration

Application Number: 20120022139

Filed: Aug. 26, 2011

Lead Inventor: Francois Jean-Charles Natt, Novartis

The invention comprises “short interfering ribonucleic acid for oral administration,” the patent application's abstract states. The siRNA is made of “two separate RNA strands that are complementary to each other over at least 15 nucleotides, wherein each strand is 49 nucleotides or less, and wherein at least one of which strands contains at least one chemical modification.”


Title: Compositions and Methods for Inhibiting Expression of Mutant EGFR Gene

Application Number: 20120022132

Filed: Sept. 2, 2009

Lead Inventor: Dinah Sah, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“The invention relates to a double-stranded ribonucleic acid targeting a mutant epidermal growth factor receptor and methods of using the dsRNA to inhibit expression of mutant EGFR,” the patent application's abstract states.


Title: Compositions and Methods for Inhibiting Expression of a Gene from the JC Virus

Application Number: 20120022141

Filed: Oct. 4, 2011

Lead Inventor: Pamela Tan, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“The invention relates to a double-stranded ribonucleic acid for inhibiting the expression of a gene from the JC virus comprising an antisense strand having a nucleotide sequence which is less that 30 nucleotides in length … [that] is substantially complementary to at least a part of a gene from the JC virus,” the patent application'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 JC virus expression and the expression of a gene from the JC virus using the pharmaceutical composition; and methods for inhibiting the expression of a gene from the JC virus in a cell.”


Title: RNA Interference-Mediated Inhibition of Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 1 Gene Expression Using Short Interfering Nucleic Acid

Application Number: 20120022142

Filed: March 25, 2010

Lead Inventor: Vasant Jadhav, Merck

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, “relates to compounds, compositions, and methods for the study, diagnosis, and treatment of traits, diseases, and conditions that respond to the modulation of STAT1 gene expression and/or activity, and/or modulate a STAT1 gene expression pathway. Specifically, the invention relates to double-stranded nucleic acid molecules including small nucleic acid molecules … capable of mediating or that mediate RNA interference against STAT1 gene expression.”


Title: RNA Interference-Mediated Inhibition of the Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin Gene Expression Using Short Interfering Nucleic Acid

Application Number: 20120022143

Filed: March 25, 2010

Lead Inventor: Vasant Jadhav, Merck

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, “relates to compounds, compositions, and methods for the study, diagnosis, and treatment of traits, diseases, and conditions that respond to the modulation of TSLP gene expression and/or activity, and/or modulate a TSLP gene expression pathway. Specifically, the invention relates to double-stranded nucleic acid molecules ... capable of mediating or that mediate RNA interference against TSLP gene expression.”

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.