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IP Update: Recent Patents, Patent Applications Awarded to Asuragen, Alnylam, Medtronic, and More

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Title: Methods and Compositions Involving miRNA and miRNA Inhibitor Molecules

Patent Number: 8,173,611

Filed: Nov. 14, 2005

Lead Inventor: David Brown, Asuragen

The invention, the patent's abstract states, “concerns methods and compositions for introducing miRNA activity or function into cells using synthetic nucleic acid molecules. Moreover, the ... invention concerns methods and compositions for identifying miRNAs with specific cellular functions that are relevant to therapeutic, diagnostic, and prognostic applications wherein synthetic miRNAs and/or miRNA inhibitors are used in library screening assays.”


Title: Therapeutic Compositions Comprising an RNAi Agent and a Neurotrophic Factor and Methods of Use Thereof

Patent Number: 8,173,614

Filed: Oct. 16, 2009

Lead Inventor: Eric Neal Burright, Medtronic

“The invention provides novel combination therapies for treating Huntington's disease which comprise [brain-derived neurotrophic factor] or suitable fragments thereof and agents capable of causing inhibition of a gene responsible for the neurodegenerative disease,” the patent's abstract states. “The invention provides nucleic acid sequences, methods, and systems suitable for applications of these combination therapies.”


Title: RNAi-Induced Translational Silencing and Cellular Apoptosis

Patent Number: 8,173,616

Filed: Oct. 29, 2010

Lead Inventor: Paul Anderson, Brigham and Women's Hospital

“The invention is directed to RNA molecules that can be used to inhibit protein synthesis and to induce cells to undergo apoptosis,” according to the patent's abstract. “It also includes pharmaceutical compositions containing the RNAs that can be used in treating or preventing tumors, abnormal dermatological growths, and viral infections.”


Title: RNAi-Mediated Inhibition of Frizzled-Related Protein-1 for Treatment of Glaucoma

Patent Number: 8,173,617

Filed: April 12, 2011

Lead Inventor: Abbot Clark, Novartis

“RNA interference is provided for inhibition of frizzled-related protein-1 mRNA expression, in particular, for treating patients having glaucoma or at risk of developing glaucoma,” the patent's abstract states.


Title: Synthetic Methods and Derivatives of Triphosphate Oligonucleotides

Application Number: 20120107272

Filed: Sept. 2, 2009

Lead Inventor: Muthiah Manoharan, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“The invention features a oligonucleotide of [a pre-defined] formula ... or pharmaceutically acceptable salts, or pro-drugs thereof … [that] are capable of inducing an antiviral or an antibacterial response, in particular, the induction of type I IFN, IL-18, and/or IL-1-beta- by binding to RIG-I,” the patent application's abstract states. “The invention relates to methods of making and using modified oligonucleotide comprising at least one triphosphate or analogs thereof. The invention further relates to methods for treating various disorders and diseases such as viral infections, bacterial infections, parasitic infections, tumors, allergies, autoimmune diseases, immunodeficiencies, and immunosuppression.”


Title: Double-Stranded Oligonucleotides

Application Number: 20120107897

Filed: Aug. 16, 2011

Inventor: Tod Woolf, Life Technologies

The invention, the patent application's abstracts states, comprises “antisense sequences, including duplex RNAi compositions, [that] possess improved properties over those taught in the prior art. ... The invention provides optimized antisense oligomer compositions and methods for making and using the both in in vitro systems and therapeutically. The invention also provides methods of making and using the improved antisense oligomer compositions.”


Title: RNAi Modulation of TGF-Beta and Therapeutic Uses Thereof

Application Number: 20120108646

Filed: Oct. 29, 2010

Lead Inventor: Hans-Peter Vornlocher, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, “concerns methods of treatment using transforming growth factor-beta modulators. More specifically, the invention concerns methods of treating disorders associated with undesirable TGF-beta signaling by administering short interfering RNA which down-regulate the expression of TGF-beta, and agents useful therein.”


Title: Therapeutic Uses of Inhibitors of RTP-801L

Application Number: 20120108647

Filed: Aug. 25, 2011

Inventor: Elena Feinstein, Quark Pharmaceuticals

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, “provides novel molecules, compositions, methods and uses for treating microvascular disorders, eye diseases, respiratory conditions, and hearing disorders based upon inhibition of the RTP801L gene and/or protein.”


Title: microRNA Markers and Methods Related Thereto

Application Number: 20120108650

Filed: Oct. 28, 2011

Lead Inventor: Peng Jin, Emory University

The invention comprises “methods of diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, including assessing the levels of certain microRNAs in a subject and comparing these to levels in subjects not exhibiting the disease,” the patent application's abstract states. “The identified measurements provide input for improved diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease as compared to certain other forms of dementias, which allows more effective treatment regimens.”


Title: Methods of Diagnosing and Treating Carcinomas

Application Number: 20120108655

Filed: March 5, 2010

Lead Inventor: Michele Avissar, Brown University

The patent application, its abstract states, claims “methods of diagnosing a carcinoma, [including] comparing the expression of miRNAs in a sample with a control and determining ratios of expression of miRNAs. Methods of treatment include administering a nucleic acid encoding a miR-375 gene product. Methods of optimizing treatment in a subject include determining expression of an miR21-gene product.”


Title: Use of microRNA-199b-5p in Medical and Diagnostic Field

Application Number: 20120108656

Filed: March 23, 2010

Inventor: Massimo Zollo, University of Naples Federico II

“This invention concerns the use of microRNA-199b-5p in medical and diagnostic fields,” the patent application's abstract states. “Particularly, this invention concerns the use of the miR-199b-5p in the anti-cancer therapy and as a histopathological and metastasis marker.”


Title: siRNA Conjugate and Preparation Method Thereof

Application Number: 20120108803

Filed: May 13, 2010

Lead Inventor: Bo Ram Han, Bioneer

The patent application, its abstract states, claims “an siRNA-polymer conjugate and a method for preparing the same ... to a hybrid conjugate formed by covalently bonding siRNA and a polymeric compound for improving the in vivo stability of siRNA, and to a preparation method of the hybrid conjugate. The conjugate of the ... invention can improve the in vivo stability of siRNA, thereby achieving an efficient delivery of therapeutic siRNA into cells and exhibiting the activity of siRNA even with a small dose of a relative low concentration. Therefore, the conjugate can advantageously be used as not only an siRNA treatment tool for cancers and other infectious disease, but also a novel type siRNA delivery system.”


Title: Compositions and Methods for Preparing Short RNA Molecules and Other Nucleic Acids

Application Number: 20120108804

Filed: July 25, 2011

Lead Inventor: Knut Madden, Life Technologies

“The invention provides methods of preparing nucleic acids, such as RNA molecules, of a defined size or range of sizes,” the patent application's abstract states. “The invention provides compositions, methods, and kits for use in the production and preparation of small RNA molecules ... and other nucleic acids of various sizes.”

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.