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IP Update: Recent Patents, Patent Applications Awarded to Alnylam, OSU, Dicerna, and More

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Title: Methods for Diagnosing Stomach Cancer Using microRNAs

Patent Number: 8,512,951

Filed: Feb. 28, 2012

Lead Inventor: Carlo Croce, Ohio State University

The invention, the patent’s abstract states, provides “novel methods and compositions for the diagnosis and treatment of solid cancers. The invention also provides methods of identifying inhibitors of tumorigenesis.”


Title: Extended Dicer-substrate Agents and Methods for the Specific Inhibition of Gene Expression

Patent Number: 8,513,207

Filed: Dec. 18, 2009

Inventor: Bob Brown, Dicerna Pharmaceuticals

The invention comprises “compositions and methods for reducing expression of a target gene in a cell [by] contacting a cell with an isolated double-stranded nucleic acid in an amount effective to reduce expression of a target gene in a cell,” the patent’s abstract states. “The dsNAs of the invention possess a pattern of deoxyribonucleotides designed to direct the site of Dicer enzyme cleavage within the dsNA molecule. Deoxyribonucleotides of the dsNA molecules of the invention are located within a region of the dsNA that can be excised via Dicer cleavage to generate an active siRNA agent that no longer contains the deoxyribonucleotide pattern.”


Title: Double-Stranded Nucleic Acid Targeting Low-copy Promoter-specific RNA

Patent Number: 8,513,401

Filed: May 3, 2010

Lead Inventor: John Rossi, City of Hope

The invention relates to “transcriptional gene silencing in mammalian, including human, cells that is mediated by small interfering RNA molecules,” the patent’s abstract states. The invention also relates to a “double-stranded nucleic acid that directs methylation of histones associated with target genes that produce low-copy promoter-specific RNA. It has been found that siRNAs can be used to direct methylation of histones in mammalian, including human, cells.”


Title: Modified siRNA Molecules and Uses Thereof

Patent Number: 8,513,403

Filed: April 26, 2012

Lead Inventor: Ian MacLachlan, Protiva Biotherapeutics (Tekmira Pharmaceuticals)

The invention provides “chemically modified siRNA molecules and methods of using such siRNA molecules to silence target gene expression,” the patent’s abstract states. The invention also provides “nucleic acid-lipid particles comprising a modified siRNA, a cationic lipid, and a non-cationic lipid, which can further comprise a conjugated lipid that inhibits aggregation of particles. The … invention further provides methods of silencing gene expression by administering a modified siRNA to a mammalian subject. Methods for identifying and/or modifying an siRNA having immunostimulatory properties are also provided.”


Title: Microvesicles Carrying Small Interfering RNAs, Preparation Methods, and Uses Thereof

Application Number: 20130209544

Filed: May 26, 2010

Lead Inventor: Chenyu Zhang, Micromedmark Biotech

The invention, the patent application’s abstract states, comprises “microvesicles containing interfering RNAs, preparation methods, and uses thereof. … Pharmaceutical compositions and kits comprising the microvesicles containing interfering RNAs are also provided. Microvesicles containing interfering RNAs, pharmaceutical compositions and kits comprising such microvesicles can be used to study the effects of interfering RNAs on receptor cells … [and] be used to treat … diseases.”


Title: siRNA Targeting Myeloid Differentiation Primary Response Gene

Application Number: 20130210676

Filed: March 20, 2013

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

“Efficient sequence-specific gene silencing is possible through the use of siRNA technology,” the patent application’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 MYD88.”


Title: Composition and Method for Inner Ear Sensory Hair Cell Regeneration and Replacement

Application Number: 20130210889

Filed: Feb. 18, 2013

Inventor: Rochard Kopke, Hough Ear Institute

The invention, the patent application’s abstract states, relates to a “composition and method for replacement and regeneration of hair cells of the inner ear. … The composition comprises an active agent in an amount effective to decrease Hes1 gene expression in a tissue of the inner ear. The active agent can be short interfering RNA molecules encapsulated in a biodegradable nanoparticle. The method involves administering a solution to the inner ear where the solution contains an active agent in an amount effective to decrease Hes1 gene expression.”


Title: Modified iRNA Agents

Application Number: 20130211063

Filed: March 22, 2013

Lead Inventor: Muthiah Manoharan, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“The invention relates to iRNA agents, which preferably include a monomer in which the ribose moiety has been replaced by a moiety other than ribose,” the patent application’s abstract states.
“The inclusion of such a monomer can allow for modulation of a property of the iRNA agent into which it is incorporated. ... The invention also relates to methods of making and using such modified iRNA agents.”


Title: Compartmentalized Method of Nucleic Acid Delivery and Compositions and Uses Thereof

Application Number: 20130211380

Filed: Feb. 7, 2013

Lead Inventor: Jose Gustavo Cabrera Aquino, National Institute of Cardiology, Mexico

The invention, the patent application’s abstract states, comprises a “method of delivering nucleic acid molecules to a compartmentalized tissue or organ of a subject. Also provided herein are uses and processes for delivering a nucleic acid molecule to the parenchyma of a compartmentalized tissue or organ. The methods and uses can be used in the treatment of diseases and conditions and in industrial, agricultural, and veterinary applications. Also provided herein are compositions containing an adenovirus or adeno-associated virus or other recombinant virus formulated for administration to the parenchyma of a tissue or organ.”

The Scan

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.

Effectiveness May Decline, Data From Israel Suggests

The New York Times reports that new Israeli data suggests a decline in Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness against Delta variant infection, though protection against severe disease remains high.

To See Future Risk

Slate looks into the use of polygenic risk scores in embryo screening.

PLOS Papers on Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus, Bone Marrow Smear Sequencing, More

In PLOS this week: genomic analysis of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, archived bone marrow sequencing, and more.