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

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Title: Method and Compositions Involving microRNA

Patent Number: 8,465,914

Filed: July 2, 2012

Lead Inventor: David Brown, Asuragen

The invention concerns “methods and compositions for isolating, enriching, and/or labeling miRNA molecules, and for preparing and using arrays or other detection techniques for miRNA analysis,” the patent’s abstract states. “Moreover, the … invention concerns methods and compositions for generating miRNA profiles and employing such profiles for therapeutic, diagnostic, and prognostic applications.”


Title: Ultraconserved Regions Encoding ncRNAs

Patent Number: 8,465,918

Filed: Aug. 4, 2008

Inventor: Carlo Croce, Ohio State University

The patent, its abstract states, claims “methods for [differentiating] human cancers … using one or more transcribed ultraconserved regions expression profiles where the association between the genomic location of UCRs and the analyzed cancer-related genomic elements is highly statistically significant and comparable to that reported for miRNAs.”


Title: Compositions and Methods for Modulating Angiogenesis

Patent Number: 8,466,117

Filed: July 30, 2007

Lead Inventor: Joshua Mendell, Johns Hopkins University

The invention, the patent’s abstract states, features “compositions and methods … for modulating angiogenesis.” Specifically, the patent claims the use of microRNA inhibitors to modulate angiogenesis.


Title: Methods and Compositions for Inducing Deregulation of EPHA7 and ERK Phosphorylation in Human Acute Leukemias

Patent Number: 8,466,119

Filed: Aug. 22, 2008

Inventor: Carlo Croce, Ohio State University

The invention, the patent’s abstract states, comprises “methods for assessing a pathological condition in a subject [including by] measuring one or more markers where a difference is indicative of acute lymphoblastic leukemia or a predisposition to ALL.” The patent also claims the use of siRNAs that interfere with the ALL response-signaling pathway.


Title: Oligomeric Compound and Compositions for Use in Modulation of Pri-miRNAs

Patent Number: 8,466,120

Filed: June 10, 2010

Lead Inventor: Bridget Lollo, Regulus Therapeutics

The invention, the patent’s abstract states, comprises “compounds, compositions, and methods … for modulating the levels expression, processing, and function of pri-miRNAs. In particular, methods and compounds are provided for the modulation of the levels, expression, processing, or function of polycistronic pri-miRNAs. The compositions comprise oligomeric compounds targeted to small non-coding RNAs and pri-miRNAs. Further provided are methods for selectively modulating pri-miRNA levels in a cell. Also provided are methods for identifying oligomeric compounds that result in increased pri-miRNA levels when contacted with a cell.”


Title: Trialkyl Cationic Lipids and Methods of Use Thereof

Patent Number: 8,466,122

Filed: Sept. 16, 2011

Lead Inventor: James Heyes, Protiva Biotherapeutics (Tekmira Pharmaceuticals)

The invention, the patent’s abstract states, comprises “compositions and methods for the delivery of therapeutic agents to cells. In particular, these include novel cationic lipids and nucleic acid-lipid particles that provide efficient encapsulation of nucleic acids and efficient delivery of the encapsulated nucleic acid to cells in vivo. The compositions of the … invention are highly potent, thereby allowing effective knock-down of a specific target protein at relatively low doses. In addition, the compositions and methods of the … invention are less toxic and provide a greater therapeutic index compared to compositions and methods previously known in the art.”


Title: Hepatitis C Virus Inhibitors

Patent Number: 8,466,273

Filed: Sept. 30, 2008

Lead Inventor: Kyoko Kohara, Chemo-Sero-Therapeutic Research Institute

The invention relates to “hepatitis C virus inhibitors capable of inhibiting viral replication in hepatitis C virus-infected cells,” the patent’s abstract states. “The replication of hepatitis C virus can be inhibited and hepatitis C virus-infected cells can be specifically injured by … inhibiting BGT-1 or AKR1C1 involved in the replication of hepatitis C virus. Thus, viral inhibitors comprising a substance inhibiting BGT-1 or AKR1C1 are effective for the treatment of hepatitis C.”

The patent also claims the use of siRNAs against BGT-1 and AKR1C1.


Title: RNAi Therapeutic for Treatment of Hepatitis C Infection

Patent Number: 8,466,274

Filed: Oct. 2, 2012

Inventor: Hengli Tang, Florida State University

The invention relates to “small interfering RNAs or small hairpin RNA and compositions comprising same … that target human cyclophilin A to inhibit hepatitis C infection,” according to the patent’s abstract. Also claimed are “DNA polynucleotides, plasmids, and viral or non-viral vectors … that encode siRNA or shRNA molecules, which may be delivered directly to cells or in combination with delivery agents, such as lipids, polymers, encapsulated lipid particles, such as liposomes. Methods for treating, managing inhibiting, preventing, etc., HCV infection using such siRNA and shRNAs and compositions comprising same are also provided.”


Title: Novel microRNAs for the Detection and Isolation of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-derived Cardiac Cell Types

Application Number: 20130150256

Filed: June 14, 2011

Lead Inventor: Jane Synnergren, University of Skovde

The invention, the patent application’s abstract states, relates to “the use of human-derived microRNAs as targets for the identification of cardiac and cardiac-like cell types. In particular, it relates to a specific set of miRNAs which have been found to be correlated to cardiac differentiation and can act to up- or downregulate a number of putative mRNA targets to guide differentiation and also act as markers for a cardiac phenotype. In addition, it also relates to the use of these miRNAs as tools for the isolation, selection, purification, and characterization of cardiac and cardiac-like cells and tissues. The invention also encompasses the possible use of these miRNAs in the differentiation and maturation of cardiac or cardiac-like cell types.”


Title: Recombinant Protein for Intracellular Delivery of siRNA and Composition Comprising the Same

Application Number: 20130150287

Filed: Dec. 7, 2011

Lead Inventor: Hyung-Jun Ahn, Korea Institute of Science and Technology

The invention, the patent application’s abstract states, relates to “a recombinant protein for siRNA delivery, which allows the efficient intracellular and in vivo delivery of siRNA. More particularly, the … invention relates to a recombinant protein that allows a siRNA binding protein to be located in the interior cavity of a capsid protein of hepatitis B virus, in which siRNAs of interest bind to the siRNA binding protein to be encapsulated within the capsid shell, thereby providing stability against the external attack such as nucleases and achieving the efficient intracellular and in vivo delivery of siRNA by its release into the cytosolic space after cell uptake.”


Title: Methods for Impairing the p53/HDM2 Auto-Regulatory Loop in Multiple Myeloma Development using miR-192, miR-194, and miR-215

Application Number: 20130150430

Filed: Aug. 4, 2011

Lead Inventor: Carlo Croce, Ohio State University

The patent application, its abstract states, claims “methods and compositions for detecting, treating, characterizing, and diagnosing multiple myeloma.”


Title: RNA Interference-mediated Inhibition of Hepatitis B Virus Gene Expression Using Short Interfering Nucleic Acid

Application Number: 20130150433

Filed: Aug. 12, 2011

Lead Inventor: Steve Bartz, 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 HBV gene expression and/or activity, and/or modulate a HBV gene expression pathway. Specifically, the invention relates to double-stranded nucleic acid … that are capable of mediating or that mediate RNA interference against HBV gene expression.”


Title: Nuclease-resistant Double-stranded Ribonucleic Acid

Application Number: 20130150570

Filed: March 27, 2012

Lead Inventor: Hans-Peter Vornlocher, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“This invention relates to modified double-stranded oligoribonucleic acid having improved stability in cells and biological fluids, and methods of making and identifying dsRNA having improved stability, and of using the dsRNA to inhibit the expression or function of a target gene,” the patent application’s abstract states.

The Scan

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.

Estonian Biobank Team Digs into Results Return Strategies, Experiences

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics outline a procedure developed for individual return of results for the population biobank, along with participant experiences conveyed in survey data.

Rare Recessive Disease Insights Found in Individual Genomes

Researchers predict in Genome Medicine cross-population deletions and autosomal recessive disease impacts by analyzing recurrent nonallelic homologous recombination-related deletions.

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.