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IP Update: Recent Patents, Patent Applications Awarded to City of Hope; Merck; Benitec; and More


Title: Method for Determining Immunostimulatory Activity of RNA Oligonucleotides

Patent Number: 8,076,068

Filed: Sept. 14, 2006

Lead Inventor: Gunther Hartmann, University of Bonn

The invention, the patent's abstract states, comprises four-nucleotide RNA motifs that “confer immunostimulatory activity, in particular, IFN-alpha-inducing activity, to a RNA oligonucleotide. The ... invention also provides RNA oligonucleotides, including siRNA, with high or low immunostimulatory activity … [as well as] the use of the RNA oligonucleotides of the invention for therapeutic purposes.”

Title: Methods for Producing Interfering RNA Molecules in Mammalian Cells and Therapeutic Uses for Such Molecules

Patent Number: 8,076,071

Filed: Sept. 14, 2010

Lead Inventor: John Rossi, City of Hope

The invention comprises “methods for producing interfering RNA molecules in mammalian cells,” as well as “therapeutic uses for the expressed molecules, including inhibiting expression of HIV,” according to the patent's abstract.

Title: Inhibition of Autophagy Genes in Cancer Chemotherapy

Patent Number: 8,076,308

Filed: Nov. 3, 2006

Lead Inventor: Sharon Margaret Gorski, British Columbia Cancer Agency

The patent, its abstract states, claims “compositions and methods for improving the therapeutic efficacy of various cancer treatments, for example endocrine therapy, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, by inhibiting the expression of one or more genes involved in the cellular autophagy response. The compositions include compositions comprising an siRNA directed against an Atg gene and may be used to inhibit expression of an Atg gene in a cell currently undergoing cancer therapy, or to treat, inhibit or prevent cancer in a subject in combination with a cancer therapy.”

Title: USP47 Inhibitors and Methods to Induce Apoptosis

Patent Number: 8,076,309

Filed: April 28, 2009

Lead Inventor: Michele Pagano, New York University

The invention relates to “ubiquitin specific protease 47 inhibitors and methods for inducing apoptosis or cell death in a target cell,” the patent's abstract states. “In certain embodiments, the invention relates to methods and kits to screen for related agents that induce apoptosis. Additionally, the invention relates to assays for screening compounds capable of acting as USP47 inhibitors.”

Title: RNAi Expression Constructs

Patent Number: 8,076,471

Filed: Feb. 3, 2006

Lead Inventor: Petrus Roelvink, Benitec

The invention comprises “compositions and methods suitable for expressing RNAi agents [with a promoter and two or more stem-loop structures separated from one another by a spacer structure] against a gene or genes in cells, tissues or organs of interest in vitro and in vivo so as to treat diseases or disorders,” according to the patent's abstract.

Title: RNA Interference-Mediated Inhibition of Muscarinic Cholinergic Receptor Gene Expression Using Short Interfering Nucleic Acid

Patent Number: 8,076,472

Filed: Nov. 19, 2010

Lead Inventor: James McSwiggen, Merck

The invention relates to “compounds, compositions, and methods useful for modulating the expression of genes associated with respiratory and pulmonary disease, such as cholinergic muscarinic receptor genes, using short interfering nucleic acid molecules,” the patent's abstract states. “This invention also relates to compounds, compositions, and methods useful for modulating the expression and activity of cholinergic muscarinic receptor genes, or other genes involved in pathways of cholinergic muscarinic receptor gene expression and/or activity by RNA interference (RNAi) using small nucleic acid molecules ... and methods used to modulate the expression of M3 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor or cholinergic receptor muscarinic 3.”

Title: Compositions and Methods for Combined Therapy of Disease

Application Number: 20110300125

Filed: July 13, 2010

Lead Inventor: Samuel Reich, Opko Health

“A desired physiological state can be induced by altering the amount of gene products in target cells of a subject,” the patent application's abstract states. “The target cells are treated with at least one compound designed to reduce expression of at least one first gene by RNAi, and with at least one compound designed to increase expression from at least one second gene. The reduced expression of the first gene and the increased expression from the second gene in the target cells induces the desired physiological state in the subject. By altering target cell gene expression in this way, conditions such as angiogenesis or tumor growth and metastasis can be inhibited.”

Title: Modulating XRN2

Application Number: 20110300155

Filed: Dec. 3, 2009

Lead Inventor: Saibal Chatterjee, Novartis

The invention comprises “a method for modulating miRNA … [using a] modulator of XRN2,” the patent application's abstract states.

Title: Nucleic Acid Drug for Treatment of Allergic Disease

Application Number: 20110300182

Filed: March 12, 2009

Lead Inventor: Hiroo Yokozeki, Tokyo Medical and Dental University

“This invention provides double-stranded RNA capable of suppressing the expression of Stat6 related to allergic diseases mediated by Th2-type cytokines via RNA interference,” as well as its use to treat or prevent allergic diseases, the patent application's abstract states.

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

Application Numbers: 20110301219; 20110301220

Filed: April 6, 2011

Lead Inventor: Leonid Beigelman, Merck

The invention relates to “methods and reagents useful in modulating gene expression in a variety of applications, including use in therapeutic, diagnostic, target-validation, and genomic-discovery applications,” the patent applications' abstracts state. “Specifically, the invention relates to synthetic chemically modified small nucleic acid molecules ... 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: Methods and Compositions for the Specific Inhibition of Gene Expression by Double-Stranded RNA

Application Number: 20110301224

Filed: July 8, 2011

Lead Inventor: John Rossi, City of Hope (Integrated DNA Technologies)

“The invention provides compositions and methods for selectively reducing the expression of a gene product from a desired target gene, as well as treating diseases caused by expression of the gene,” the patent application's abstract states. “The method involves introducing into the environment of a cell an amount of a double-stranded RNA such that a sufficient portion of the dsRNA can enter the cytoplasm of the cell to cause a reduction in the expression of the target gene. The dsRNA has a first oligonucleotide sequence that is between 26 and about 30 nucleotides in length and a second oligonucleotide sequence that anneals to the first sequence under biological conditions. In addition, a region of one of the sequences of the dsRNA having a sequence length of from about 19 to about 23 nucleotides is complementary to a nucleotide sequence of the RNA produced from the target gene.”

Title: Compositions and Methods for Treating Hepatic Neoplasia

Application Number: 20110301226

Filed: Dec. 2, 2009

Lead Inventor: Joshua Mendell, Johns Hopkins University

The invention comprises “compositions and methods featuring miR-26 … polynucleotides for the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of hepatic neoplasia,” according to the patent application's abstract.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.