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IP Update: Recent Patents, Patent Applications Awarded to CalTech, Alnylam, Silence, and More

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Title: Cyclodextrin-Based Materials, Compositions, and Uses Related Thereto

Patent Number: 8,357,377

Filed: Oct. 8, 2003

Lead Inventor: Suzie Hwang Pun, California Institute of Technology (Arrowhead Research)

The invention comprises “cyclodextrin-modified materials for carrying drugs and other active agents, such as nucleic acids,” the patent's abstract states. “Compositions are also disclosed of cyclodextrin-modified materials that release such active agents under controlled conditions. The invention also discloses compositions of cyclodextrin-modified polymer carriers that are coupled to biorecognition molecules for assisting the delivery of drugs to their site of action.”


Title: Reprogramming a Cell by Inducing a Pluripotent Gene through RNA Interference

Patent Number: 8,357,666

Filed: April 7, 2009

Lead Inventor: Kenneth Eilertsen, Nupotential

“The invention relate to methods, compositions, and kits for reprogramming a cell,” the patent's abstract states. “In one embodiment, the invention relates to a method for inducing the expression of at least one gene that contributes to a cell being pluripotent or multipotent. In yet another embodiment, the method comprises inhibiting the expression of a gene that codes for a protein involved in transcriptional repression. In yet another embodiment, the invention relates to a reprogrammed cell or an enriched population of reprogrammed cells that can have characteristics of an [embryonic stem]-like cell, which can be re- or trans-differentiated into a differentiated cell type.”


Title: Lipids, Lipid Complexes, and Use Thereof

Patent Number: 8,357,722

Filed: Sept.12, 2011

Lead Inventor: Oliver Keil, Silence Therapeutics

The invention, the patent states, is related to a compound comprised of a siRNA or other pharmaceutical agent and a lipid-based carrier.


Title: Method and Compositions Involving microRNA

Application Number: 20130017972

Filed: July 2, 2012

Lead Inventor: David Brown, Asuragen

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, “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. Moreover, the ... invention concerns methods and compositions for generating miRNA profiles and employing such profiles for therapeutic, diagnostic, and prognostic applications.”


Title: Methods and Means for Producing Efficient Silencing Construct Using Recombinational Cloning

Application Number: 20130017976

Filed: Sept. 21, 2010

Lead Inventor: Christopher Helliwell, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization

The invention comprises “methods and means … for producing chimeric nucleic acid constructs capable of producing dsRNA for silencing target nucleic acid sequences of interest using recombinational cloning,” the patent application's abstract states.


Title: RNA Interference-Mediated Inhibition of Gene Expression Using Chemically Modified Short Interfering Nucleic Acid

Application Number: 20130018082

Filed: May 25, 2012

Lead Inventor: James McSwiggen, Merck

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, “concerns methods and reagents useful in modulating gene expression in a variety of applications, including use in therapeutic, diagnostic, target validation, and genomic discovery applications. Specifically, the invention relates to synthetic chemically modified small nucleic acid molecules ... capable of mediating RNA interference against target nucleic acid sequences. The small nucleic acid molecules are useful in the treatment of any disease or condition that responds to modulation of gene expression or activity in a cell, tissue, or organism.”


Title: Use of siRNA Targeting Sipa1L1 for the Reduction of Adipogenesis

Application Number: 20130018083

Filed: Oct. 1, 2010

Lead Inventor: Diana Hall, Sanofi

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, “concerns Sipa1l1, a new target involved in adipogenesis modulation. Using a siRNA approach, the inventors demonstrated that decrease in Sipa1l1 activity in preadipocytes and adipose tissue induces a decrease in adipogenesis. Thus, the ... invention relates to modulators of Sipa1l1 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: iRNA Agents Targeting VEGF

Application Number: 20130018085

Filed: Sept. 14, 2012

Lead Inventor: Antonin de Fougerolles, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

The features of the invention relate to “compounds, compositions, and methods useful for modulating the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor, such as by the mechanism of RNA interference,” according to the patent application's abstract. “The compounds and compositions include iRNA agents that can be unmodified or chemically modified.”


Title: siRNAs Targeting Exon 10 of Pyruvate Kinase M2

Application Number: 20130018086

Filed: March 10, 2011

Inventor: Michael Goldberg, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“The invention relates to nucleic acid molecules and compositions for specific post-transcriptional inhibition of PKM2 expression,” the patent application's abstract states. “Methods for specific inhibition of PKM2 expression in a target cell, for example a cancer cell, are also provided.”


Title: miRNA Compound for Treatment of Prostate Carcinoma

Application Number: 20130018087

Filed: Aug. 12, 2010

Lead Inventor: Kerstin Boll, Fraunhofer Institute

The invention relates to “new pharmaceutical compositions comprising ... miR-130a, miR-203, and miR-205, and their use for the treatment of cancer, in particular prostate cancer,” the patent application's abstract states.

The Scan

Should've Been Spotted Sooner

Scientists tell the Guardian that SARS-CoV-2 testing issues at a UK lab should have been noticed earlier.

For Martian Fuel

Researchers have outlined a plan to produce rocket fuel on Mars that uses a combination of sunlight, carbon dioxide, frozen water, cyanobacteria, and engineered E. coli, according to Gizmodo.

To Boost Rapid Testing

The Washington Post writes that new US programs aim to boost the availability of rapid at-home SARS-CoV-2 tests.

PNAS Papers on Strawberry Evolution, Cell Cycle Regulators, False-Positive Triplex Gene Editing

In PNAS this week: strawberry pan-genome, cell cycle-related roles for MDM2 and MDMX, and more.