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IP Update: Recent Patents, Patent Applications Awarded to Alnylam; Regulus; Sanofi-Aventis; and More

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Title: Method and Medicament for Inhibiting the Expression of a Given Gene

Patent Number: 8,114,851

Filed: Oct. 31, 2007

Lead Inventor: Roland Kreutzer, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

The invention, the patent's abstract states, “relates to the specific inhibition of expression of a target gene in mammals using a short double-stranded RNA. The dsRNA is less than 49 nucleotides in length and has a nucleotide sequence which is complementary to at least a part of the target gene. The dsRNAs of the ... invention are useful for treating diseases, for example, cancer, viral diseases, or neurodegenerative diseases.”


Title: Characterization of Gene Function Using Double-Stranded RNA Inhibition

Patent Number: 8,114,980

Filed: April 16, 2004

Lead Inventor: Geert Plaetinck, Devgen

The invention, the patent's abstract states, comprises “a method of identifying DNA responsible for conferring a particular phenotype in a cell … [by] constructing a cDNA or genomic library of the DNA of the cell in a suitable vector in an orientation relative to a promoter capable of initiating transcription of the cDNA or DNA to double-stranded RNA upon binding of an appropriate transcription factor to the promoter.” Then, the library is introduced into “one or more of the cells comprising the transcription factor. … [The method further involves] identifying and isolating a particular phenotype of the cell comprising the library and identifying the DNA or cDNA fragment from the library responsible for conferring the phenotype.

“Using this technique it is also possible to assign function to a known DNA sequence by identifying a homolog of the DNA sequence in a cell; isolating the relevant DNA homolog or a fragment thereof from the cell; cloning the homolog or fragment thereof into an appropriate vector in an orientation relative to a suitable promoter capable of initiating transcription of dsRNA from the DNA homolog or fragment upon binding of an appropriate transcription factor to the promoter; and introducing the vector into the cell from [the first] step comprising the transcription factor,” the abstract adds.


Title: Method and Medicament for Inhibiting the Expression of a Given Gene

Patent Number: 8,114,981

Filed: Oct. 31, 2007

Lead Inventor: Roland Kreutzer, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“The invention relates to an isolated RNA that mediates RNA interference of an mRNA to which it corresponds and a method of mediating RNA interference of mRNA of a gene in a cell or organism using the isolated RNA,” the patent's abstract states.


Title: Multi-microRNA Methods and Compositions

Patent Number: 8,114,982

Filed: Nov. 28, 2007

Lead Inventor: Liang Zhu, Yeshiva University

The invention, according to the patent's abstract, relates to “DNAs comprising a polynucleotide that encodes at least a first modified miR-30 precursor and a second modified miR-30 precursor. Also provided are vectors comprising the DNAs, where the vector can replicate in a host cell. Additionally, specific lentiviral vectors comprising the above-described DNA are provided, as are methods of inhibiting expression of a target gene in a eukaryotic cell.”


Title: RNAi Modulation of Aha and Therapeutic Uses Thereof

Patent Number: 8,114,984

Filed: Sept. 7, 2010

Lead Inventor: Rainer Constien, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“The invention relates to a double-stranded ribonucleic acid for inhibiting the expression of an Aha gene comprising an antisense strand having a nucleotide sequence which is less that 30 nucleotides in length, generally 19-25 nucleotides in length, and which is substantially complementary to at least a part of an Aha gene,” according to the patent's abstract. “The invention also relates to a pharmaceutical composition comprising the dsRNA together with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier; methods for treating diseases caused by Aha1 expression and the expression of an Aha gene using the pharmaceutical composition; and methods for inhibiting the expression of an Aha gene in a cell.”


Title: Anti-microRNA Oligonucleotide Molecules

Patent Number: 8,114,985

Filed: March 11, 2011

Lead Inventor: Thomas Tuschl, Rockefeller University

“The invention relates to isolated anti-microRNA molecules,” the patent's abstract states. “In another embodiment, the invention relates to an isolated microRNA molecule. In yet another embodiment, the invention provides a method for inhibiting microRNP activity in a cell.”


Title: Down-Regulation of Gene Expression Using Artificial microRNAs

Patent Number: 8,115,055

Filed: Dec. 16, 2008

Inventor: Brian McGonigal, Du Pont

The invention relates to “isolated nucleic acid fragments comprising precursor miRNA, and artificial miRNAs and their use in down-regulating gene expression,” the patent's abstract states.


Title: Methods and Kits for miRNA Isolation and Quantitation

Application Number: 20120034612

Filed: July 14, 2011

Lead Inventor: Chunxiang Zhang, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, “is a kit and method for isolating and quantitating miRNA, and [involves] the use of such methods in the diagnosis and prognosis of disease.”


Title: Chemical Modifications of Monomers and Oligonucleotides with Cycloaddition

Application Number: 20120035115

Filed: Sept. 23, 2009

Lead Inventor: Muthiah Manoharan, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“The invention relates compounds and processes for conjugating [a] ligand to [an] oligonucleotide,” the patent application's abstract states. “The invention further relates to methods for treating various disorders and diseases such as viral infections, bacterial infections, parasitic infections, cancers, allergies, autoimmune diseases, immunodeficiencies, and immunosuppression.”


Title: Conserved HBV and HCV Sequences Useful for Gene Silencing

Application Number: 20120035240

Filed: Dec. 12, 2005

Lead Inventor: Catherine Pachuk, Nucleonics (Alnylam Pharmaceuticals)

The invention relates to “conserved consensus sequences from known hepatitis B virus strains and known hepatitis C virus strains, which are useful in inhibiting the expression of the viruses in mammalian cells,” according to the patent application's abstract. “These sequences are useful to silence the genes of HBV and HCV, thereby providing therapeutic utility against HBV and HCV viral infection in humans.”


Title: Use of Inhibitors of Plac8 Activity for the Modulation of Adipogenesis

Application Number: 20120035241

Filed: Nov. 5, 2009

Lead Inventor: Diana Hall, Sanofi-Aventis

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, “concerns Plac8, a new target involved in adipogenesis modulation. Using a siRNA approach, the inventors demonstrated that decrease in Plac8 activity in pre-adipocytes and adipose tissue induces a decrease in adipogenesis. Thus, the ... invention relates to modulators of Plac8 activity, as well [as a] screening test for identification of modulators of the activity of this target, and their use, especially in pharmaceutical composition, to modulate adipogenesis and thus treat obesity and related disorders.”


Title: RNA Interference-Mediated Inhibition of Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 6 Gene Expression Using Short Interfering Nucleic Acid

Application Number: 20120035247

Filed: March 17, 2010

Lead Inventor: Victoria Pickering, Merck

The invention “relates to compounds, compositions, and methods for the study, diagnosis, and treatment of traits, diseases, and conditions that respond to the modulation of STAT6 gene expression and/or activity, and/or modulate a STAT6 gene expression pathway,” according to the patent application's abstract. “Specifically, the invention relates to double-stranded nucleic acid molecules ... that are capable of mediating or that mediate RNA interference against STAT6 gene expression.”


Title: Method for Regulating the Activity of miR-155

Application Number: 20120035248

Filed: Dec. 31, 2008

Lead Inventor: Frank Bennett, Regulus Therapeutics

The invention comprises “compounds, compositions, and methods ... for modulating the expression and function of small non-coding RNAs,” the patent application's abstract states. “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.”

The Scan

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The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.