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IP Update: Recent Patents, Patent Applications Awarded to Merck; Mirna; Silence; and More

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Title: Methods for Quantitating Small RNA Molecules

Patent Number: 8,071,306

Filed: July 18, 2007

Inventor: Christopher Raymond, Merck

The invention “provides methods for amplifying a microRNA molecule to produce DNA molecules,” the patent's abstract states. The methods involve “using primer extension to make a DNA molecule that is complementary to a target microRNA molecule and … using a universal forward primer and a reverse primer to amplify the DNA molecule to produce amplified DNA molecules. In some embodiments of the method, at least one of the forward primer and the reverse primer comprise at least one locked nucleic acid molecule.”


Title: miR-124-Regulated Genes and Pathways as Targets for Therapeutics Intervention

Patent Number: 8,071,562

Filed: Dec. 1, 2008

Lead Inventor: Andreas Bader, Mirna Therapeutics

The invention, the patent's abstract states, comprises “methods and compositions for identifying genes or genetic pathways modulated by miR-124, using miR-124 to modulate a gene or gene pathway, using this profile in assessing the condition of a patient, and/or treating the patient with an appropriate miRNA.”


Title: Multi-Targeting Short Interfering RNAs

Patent Number: 8,071,752

Filed: Jan. 29, 2008

Lead Inventor: John Rossi, City of Hope

The invention, the patent's abstract states, “relates to novel short interfering RNA molecules that are multi-targeted. More specifically, the ... invention relates to siRNA molecules that target two or more sequences. In one embodiment, multi-targeting siRNA molecules are designed to incorporate features of siRNA molecules and features of microRNA molecules. In another embodiment, multi-targeting siRNA molecules are designed so that each strand is directed to separate targets.”


Title: RNAi-Mediated Expression Inhibition of Cholinergic Protein

Patent Number: 8,071,753

Filed: June 9, 2009

Lead Inventor: Sylvie Berrard, French National Center for Scientific Research

The invention relates to “nucleic acid sequences producing at least one functional miRNA, at least one functional shRNA and/or at least one functional siRNA,” the patent's abstract states. The miRNA, shRNA, or siRNA of the invention is “designed to silence the expression of a gene that encodes a cholinergic protein. The ... invention further relates to compositions and kits comprising such nucleic acid sequences as well as to uses thereof.”


Title: siRNA Targeting Apolipoprotein B

Patent Number: 8,071,754

Filed: July 12, 2010

Lead Inventor: Anastasia Khvorova, Dharmacon (Thermo Fisher Scientific)

“Efficient sequence-specific gene silencing is possible through the use of siRNA technology,” the patent's abstract states. “By selecting particular siRNAs by rational design, one can maximize the generation of an effective gene-silencing reagent, as well as methods for silencing genes. Methods, composition, and kits generated through rational design of siRNAs are disclosed including those directed to nucleotide sequences for ApoB.”


Title: Inhibition of VEGF-A Secretion, Angiogenesis, and/or Neoangiogenesis by siNA-Mediated Knockdown of VEGF-C and RhoA

Application Number: 20110293625

Filed: Nov. 20, 2009

Lead Inventor: Krishna Addepalli Murali, Reliance Life Sciences

“The invention relates to the use of short interfering nucleic acid molecules that modulate the expression of VEGF-C and/or RhoA involved in neovascular angiogenesis,” the patent application's abstract states. “Inhibition of VEGF-C and/or RhoA gene expression [leads] to decreased expression of VEGF-A, which is required for initiation and the sustaining of angiogenesis.

“The invention also relates to the inhibition of RhoA expression levels along with VEGF-C, so as to derive the benefits of down-regulating two different targets required for angiogenesis, the abstract adds. The invention comprises “compounds, compositions and methods useful for inhibition of neoangiogenesis. In certain embodiments, the invention relates to methods for inhibiting neovascularization, as well as compounds such as VEGF-C and RhoA siRNAs, useful in the treatment of ocular disorders such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and other neovascular disorders.”


Title: Expression System

Application Number: 20110294204

Filed: Aug. 2, 2011

Inventor: Jacques Perrault, San Diego State University

The invention “relates generally to methods and compositions for expression of polypeptides or delivery of interfering RNAs in various cell types,” the patent application's abstract states.


Title: Use of miR-126 for Enhancing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Engraftment, for Isolating Hematopoietic Stem Cells, and for Treating and Monitoring the Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Application Number: 20110294692

Filed: Nov. 6, 2009

Lead Inventor: John Dick, University of Toronto

The invention comprises a “composition [and] methods ... relating to miR-126 as a measure of engraftment potential of a population of hematopoietic stem cells, as a method of purifying HSCs, and in the monitoring or treatment of acute myeloid leukemia,” according to the patent application's abstract.


Title: Pharmaceutical Composition for Treating Dementia Comprising shRNA Inhibiting S100a9 Expression

Application Number: 20110294866

Filed: Aug. 5, 2010

Lead Inventor: Yoo-Hun Suh, Seoul National University

The patent application, its abstract states, claims a “composition for treating dementia including shRNA to inhibit expression of S100a9 … as well as a method for prevention or treatment of dementia, including administering the ... shRNA into a mammalian cell, including a human cell or in vitro established mammalian cell-line, in order to inhibit expression of S100a9 protein.”


Title: Sensitization of Cancer Cells to Therapy Using siNA Targeting Genes form the 1P and 19Q Chromosomal Regions

Application Number: 20110294867

Filed: March 22, 2011

Lead Inventor: Francois Berger, Joseph Fourier University

“The invention relates to the identification of genes involved in resistance of cancer cells to therapy, to short nucleic acid molecules which inhibit the expression of these genes by RNA interference, and to their use as adjuvant in cancer therapy to sensitize cancer cells to conventional anticancer agents,” the patent application's abstract states.


Title: Self-Delivering Bio-Labile Phosphate-Protected Pro-Oligos for Oligonucleotide-Based Therapeutics and Mediating RNA Interference

Application Number: 20110294869

Filed: Sept. 23, 2009

Lead Inventor: Scott Petersen, Traversa Therapeutics

The invention comprises “compositions and methods for generating ribonucleic-neutral or deoxyribonucleic-neutral polynucleotides with reduced anionic charge for improved intracellular delivery,” according to the patent application's abstract.


Title: Lipids, Lipid Complexes, and Uses Thereof

Application Number: 20110294871

Filed: June 30, 2011

Lead Inventor: Oliver Keil, Silence Therapeutics

The invention is related to a compound of a specific, defined formula capable of delivering an siRNA, according to the patent application.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.