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IP Update: Recent Patents, Patent Applications Awarded to Novartis; Isis; Monsanto; and More

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Title: Biodegradable Drug-Polymer Delivery System

Patent Number: 8,128,954

Filed: June 7, 2005

Lead Inventor: Mark Davis, California Institute of Technology (Arrowhead Research)

The invention comprises a “sustained-release biodegradable polymeric drug-eluting fiber,” according to the patent's abstract. “In some embodiments, the therapeutic drug is complexed with cyclodextrin. In certain embodiments, the polymeric component of the fiber comprises cyclodextrin. The fiber may be fabricated to provide a thread and/or suture. The fiber may be used for treatment of ocular diseases or disorders.”


Title: Treatment of Neurological Disorders by dsRNA Administration

Patent Number: 8,129,354

Filed: July 17, 2007

Lead Inventor: Gabriele Dorn, Novartis

The invention, the patent's abstract states, “relates to methods to treat neurological disorders comprising intrathecal injection of an effective amount of a double-stranded RNA into a subject in need, wherein the dsRNA inhibits the expression of a target gene, and to pharmaceutical compositions useful for such treatment.”


Title: Oligomeric Compounds and Compositions for … Use in Modulation of microRNAs

Patent Number: 8,129,515

Filed: Jan. 27, 2007

Lead Inventor: Christine Esau, Isis Pharmaceuticals (Regulus Therapeutics)

The invention, the patent's abstract states, relates to “compounds, compositions, and methods ... for modulating the levels of expression, processing, and function of miRNAs. The compositions comprise oligomeric compounds targeted to small non-coding RNAs and miRNAs. The oligomeric compounds possess potent miRNA inhibitory activity, and further exhibit improved therapeutic index. Further provided are methods for selectively modulating miRNA activity in a cell.”


Title: Methods and Compositions for Selecting siRNA of Improved Functionality

Application Number: 20120052487

Filed: Sept. 14, 2004

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

“Efficient sequence-specific gene silencing is possible through the use of siRNA technology,” the patent application'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, compositions, and kits generated through rational design of siRNAs are disclosed.”


Title: Detection of Nucleic Acids

Application Number: 20120052498

Filed: July 1, 2011

Lead Inventor: Quan Nguyen, Affymetrix

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, comprises “methods of detecting various types of nucleic acids, including methods of detecting two or more nucleic acids in multiplex branched-chain DNA assays.

“Detection assays may be conducted at least in vitro, in cellulo, and in situ,” it adds. “Nucleic acids which are optionally captured on a solid support are detected, for example, through cooperative hybridization events that result in specific association of a label probe system with the nucleic acids. Various label probe system embodiments are provided. Compositions, kits, and systems related to the methods are also described.”


Title: Compositions and Methods for Treating Retrovirus Infections

Application Number: 20120053223

Filed: Nov. 26, 2009

Lead Inventor: Monsef Benkirane, French National Center for Scientific Research

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, relates to at least one nucleic acid of a pre-defined sequence that can “induce HIV-1 expression in latent HIV-1-infected cells for use as a medicament, in particular for treating retrovirus infections.”


Title: Compositions and Methods for microRNA Expression Profiling of Cancer Cells

Application Number: 20120053224

Filed: Dec. 4, 2009

Lead Inventor: Gunter Meister, University of Regensburg

The invention relates to “compositions and methods for microRNA expression profiling of cancer stem cells,” according to the patent application's abstract. “In particular, the invention relates to a method for identifying and/or diagnosing one or more cancer stem cells … [by] identifying from a plurality of nucleic acid molecules, each encoding a microRNA sequence, one or more nucleic acid molecules [that] are differentially expressed in the cancer stem cells and in one or more control cells, wherein the one or more differentially expressed nucleic acid molecules together represent a nucleic acid expression signature that is indicative for the presence of cancer stem cells.

“The invention further relates to a corresponding diagnostic kit of molecular markers, namely the nucleic acid expression signature,” the abstract adds. “Finally, the invention is directed to a method using such nucleic acid expression signatures for preventing the proliferation and/or self-renewal of such cancer stem cells, as well as to a corresponding pharmaceutical composition.”


Title: Design of Oligonucleotide Analogs as Therapeutic Agents

Application Number: 20120053226

Filed: Aug. 25, 2011

Inventor: Radhakrishnan Iyer, Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals

The invention relates to design of short oligonucleotides and analogs thereof useful for various therapeutic applications,” the patent application's abstract states. “It is believed that the compounds of the invention can be used as antiviral agents, anticancer agents, and so on. In certain embodiments, the compounds of the invention can modulate immune-stimulatory pathways and non-TLR pathways.

“The invention also relates to [designing] modified oligonucleotides for therapeutic applications by excluding nucleotide segments having off-target effects from the modified oligonucleotides,” the abstract states. “In another aspect, the invention provides pharmaceutical compositions including one or more compounds of the invention. It is believed that the compounds and compositions as described herein have therapeutic utility against a variety of diseases, including viral diseases, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.”


Title: Regulation of miR-33 microRNAs in the Treatment of Cholesterol-Related Disorders

Application Number: 20120053229

Filed: March 31, 2010

Inventor: Anders Naar, Massachusetts General Hospital (Santaris Pharma)

The invention relates to “compositions comprising nucleic acid sequences that target miR-33 ... together with uses of the same in the treatment of cholesterol-related disorders,” according to the patent application's abstract.


Title: Treatment of Neurological Disorders by dsRNA Administration

Application Number: 20120053230

Filed: Nov. 4, 2011

Lead Inventor: Gabriele Dorn, Novartis

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, “relates to methods to treat neurological disorders comprising intrathecal injection of an effective amount of a double-stranded RNA into a subject in need, wherein the dsRNA inhibits the expression of a target gene and to pharmaceutical compositions useful for such treatment.”


Title: Prevention and Treatment of Nosema Disease in Bees

Application Number: 20120053231

Filed: Nov. 3, 2011

Lead Inventor: Nitzan Paldi, Beeologics (Monsanto)

The patent application, its abstract states, claims "compositions and methods for reducing susceptibility and enhancing tolerance to Nosema disease using RNA interference technology, and more particularly, prevention and treatment of Nosema infections in honeybees by feeding of Nosema-specific dsRNA.”

The Scan

Push Toward Approval

The Wall Street Journal reports the US Food and Drug Administration is under pressure to grant full approval to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Deer Exposure

About 40 percent of deer in a handful of US states carry antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Millions But Not Enough

NPR reports the US is set to send 110 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad, but that billions are needed.

PNAS Papers on CRISPR-Edited Cancer Models, Multiple Sclerosis Neuroinflammation, Parasitic Wasps

In PNAS this week: gene-editing approach for developing cancer models, role of extracellular proteins in multiple sclerosis, and more.