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


Title: Detection of Nucleic Acids

Patent Number: 8,206,904

Filed: June 1, 2007

Lead Inventor: Hatim Allawi, Third Wave Technologies

The invention, the patent's abstract states, relates to “compositions and methods for the detection and characterization of small nucleic acid molecules. ... More particularly, the ... invention relates to methods for the detection and quantification of RNA expression … [and] further provides for the detection of miRNA and siRNA variants.”

Title: Methods and Devices for Improved Efficiency of RNA Delivery to Cells

Patent Number: 8,207,138

Filed: May 19, 2009

Lead Inventor: Deepak Ramesh Thakker, Medtronic

The invention comprises “a method for improving efficiency of RNA delivery to cells … [by] applying a low-strength electric field to the cells and then, after a certain time period, administering the ribonucleic acid sequence to the cells,” the patent's abstract states. “Devices, kits, and RNA molecules suitable for delivery and devices suitable for practicing the disclosed methods are also provided.”

Title: microRNA Biomarkers for Human Breast and Lung Cancer

Patent Number: 8,207,325

Filed: May 6, 2009

Lead Inventor: Ethan Dmitrovsky, Dartmouth College

The invention relates to “novel molecular markers for diagnosis and classification of human breast cancer and lung cancer,” the patent's abstract states.

Title: Identification of Novel Genes Coding for Small Temporal RNAs

Patent Number: 8,207,326

Filed: May 7, 2010

Lead Inventor: Thomas Tuschl, Max Planck Institute

“In Caenorhabditis elegans, lin-4 and let-7 encode 22- and 21-nucleotide RNAs, respectively, that function as key regulators of developmental timing,” the patent's abstract states. “Because the appearance of these short RNAs is regulated during development, they are also referred to as small temporal RNAs. We show that many more 21- and 22-[nucleotide] expressed RNAs, termed microRNAs, exist in invertebrates and vertebrates, and that some of these novel RNAs, similar to let-7 stRAN, are also highly conserved. This suggests that sequence-specific post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms mediated by small RNAs are more general than previously appreciated.”

Title: Therapeutic Uses of Inhibitors of RTP801

Application Number: 20120156208

Filed: Sept. 15, 2011

Lead Inventor: Elena Feinstein, Quark Pharmaceuticals

The invention provides “novel molecules, compositions, methods, and uses for treating microvascular disorders, eye diseases, respiratory conditions, and hearing disorders based upon inhibition of the RTP801 gene and/or protein,” the patent application's abstract states.

Title: Methods for Making Transcription Products

Application Number: 20120156679

Filed: Feb. 14, 2011

Lead Inventor: Gary Dahl, Epicentre Technologies

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, relates to “methods, compositions, and kits for using an RNA polymerase for making transcription products corresponding to a target sequence by obtaining circular single-stranded DNA transcription substrates using a promoter primer that encodes one strand of a double-stranded promoter. The invention has broad applicability for research, diagnostic, and therapeutic applications, such as preparing cDNA corresponding to mRNA, making sense or antisense probes, detecting gene- or organism-specific sequences, or making RNAi.”

Title: Oligonucleotides Useful for Detecting and Analyzing Nucleic Acids of Interest

Application Number: 20120157333

Filed: Nov. 14, 2011

Lead Inventor: Sakari Kauppinen, Exiqon

“The invention features improved nucleic acids and methods for expression profiling of mRNAs, identifying and profiling of particular mRNA splice variants, and detecting mutations, deletions, or duplications of particular exons or other splice variants,” the patent application's abstract states.

Title: JAK Inhibition Blocks RNA Interference-Associated Toxicities

Application Number: 20120157500

Filed: Aug. 16, 2010

Inventor: Weikang Tao, Merck

The invention provides a “method for treating patients by administering a JAK inhibitor,” the patent application's abstract states, as well as a “method for treating patients by administering a JAK inhibitor wherein the JAK inhibitor is a JAK2 inhibitor.”

Title: Galactose Cluster-Pharmacokinetic Modulator Targeting Moiety for siRNA

Application Number: 20120157509

Filed: Dec. 15, 2011

Lead Inventor: Philipp Hadwiger, Arrowhead Research

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, covers "compositions for targeted delivery of RNA interference polynucleotides to [a] cell in vivo. The pharmacokinetic modulator improves in vivo targeting compared to the targeting ligand alone.”

Title: 5' Phosphate Mimics

Application Number: 20120157511

Filed: July 7, 2010

Lead Inventor: Muthiah Manoharan, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

The invention relates to “nucleosides and oligonucleotides comprising 5' phosphate mimics,” the patent application's abstract states.

Title: Oligomeric Compounds and Compositions for Use in Modulation of Small Non-Coding RNAs

Application Number: 20120157514

Filed: March 5, 2012

Lead Inventor: Christine Esau, Regulus Therapeutics

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

Title: Compositions and Methods for Inhibiting Expression of RRM2 Genes

Application Number: 20120159657

Filed: Oct. 18, 2011

Lead Inventor: John Frederick Boylan, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“The invention relates to a double-stranded ribonucleic acid for inhibiting the expression of a RRM2 gene,” the patent application's abstract states. “The invention also relates to a pharmaceutical composition comprising the dsRNA or nucleic acid molecules or vectors encoding the same together with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, methods for treating diseases caused by the expression of a RRM2 gene using said pharmaceutical composition, and methods for inhibiting the expression of RRM2 in a cell.”

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.