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IP Update: Recent Patents, Patent Applications Awarded to Quark, Alnylam, Alcon, and More

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Title: Method and Substances for Isolating miRNAs

Patent Number: 8,278,035

Filed: Aug. 18, 2006

Lead Inventor: Elliott Dawson, Bioventures

The invention, the patent's abstract states, comprises a “capture probe suitable for use with a method for isolating miRNAs … [as well as a] method for isolating an miRNA of interest from a sample … [using] the capture probe.” The patent also claims a method for identifying an miRNA of interest.


Title: siRNA Compounds for Inhibiting NRF2

Patent Number: 8,278,287

Filed: April 6, 2009

Lead Inventor: Elena Feinstein, Quark Pharmaceuticals

The invention comprises “chemically modified siRNA compounds that target the Nrf2 gene and pharmaceutical compositions comprising same useful for treating or preventing the incidence or severity of a cancerous disease, particularly various lung cancers,” the patent's abstract states.


Title: Methods for Increasing Efficacy of Lipid Formulated siRNA

Application Number: 20120244207

Filed: June 15, 2010

Lead Inventor: Kevin Fitzgerald, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“This invention relates to methods for increasing the efficiency of siRNA administrations via pre-administration of an agent that lowers LDL receptor levels,” the patent application's abstract states.


Title: Composition for Suppressing Expression of Target Gene

Application Number: 20120244210

Filed: April 2, 2012

Lead Inventor: Fumikazu Shinohara, BioFrontier Laboratories

The invention comprises a “lipid particle encapsulating a double-stranded nucleic acid molecule,” the patent application's abstract states. The antisense strand of the dsRNA is 17 to 30 bases, with a sequence complementary to the sequence of the 17 contiguous bases of a target gene's mRNA, it adds. The sense strand is also 17 to 30 bases, and contains a base sequence complementary to the base sequence of bases 1 to 17 in the 5'-end to 3'-end direction of the antisense strand.

“A particular amount of the sugars binding to certain bases of the antisense strand and the sense strand are deoxyribose, or ribose whose hydroxyl group at the 2' position is substituted by a modifying group,” the abstract notes. The lipid particle further contains “a lipid bilayer membrane whose constituent component is a lipid conjugate, a fatty acid conjugate, or an aliphatic hydrocarbon conjugate of a water-soluble substance.”


Title: Polyvalent Polynucleotide Nanoparticle Conjugates as Delivery Vehicles for a Chemotherapeutic Agent

Application Number: 20120244230

Filed: Sept. 1, 2010

Lead Inventor: Chad Mirkin, Northwestern University (AuraSense Therapeutics)

The invention related to “compositions and methods of delivering a chemotherapeutic agent via a polynucleotide-functionalized nanoparticle,” according to the patent application's abstract.


Title: Human microRNAs and Methods for Inhibiting Same

Application Number: 20120244613

Filed: May 11, 2012

Lead Inventor: Thomas Tuschl, Rockefeller University

“The invention relates to isolated DNA or RNA molecules comprising at least ten contiguous bases having a sequence in a microRNA ... except that up to 30 percent of the bases may be wobble bases, and up to 10 percent of the contiguous bases may be non-complementary,” according to the patent application's abstract. “The invention further relates to modified single-stranded microRNA molecules, isolated single-stranded anti-microRNA molecules, and isolated microRNP molecules. In another embodiment, the invention relates to a method for inhibiting microRNP activity in a cell.”


Title: Methods and Systems for Identifying microRNA Targets and Synthesizing Novel microRNAs and Uses of the Same

Application Number: 20120244618

Filed: Feb. 22, 2012

Lead Inventor: Artemis Hatzigeorgiou, University of Pennsylvania

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, relates to a “method of identifying a microRNA-recognition element and of generating microRNAs. ... System and computer programs for performing such methods are disclosed.”

The application further claims a “recombinant nucleic acid molecule comprising heterologous coding sequences and one or more [miRNA-recognition elements, as well as an] isolated nucleic acid molecule comprising one or more [miRNA-recognition element] sequences ... free of a coding sequence operably linked to regulatory elements.”


Title: Compositions and Methods for Delivering RNAi Using ApoE

Application Number: 20120245076

Filed: Sept. 3, 2010

Lead Inventor: Tomoko Nakayama, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“This invention relates to the use of lipoproteins with oligonucleotides, both single- and double-stranded, and their use in delivering dsRNA for RNA interference,” according to the patent application's abstract. “More specifically, the ... invention relates to compositions containing oligonucleotides and apolipoprotein E, which enables tissue-specific delivery and reduction of target expression.”


Title: RNAi-Mediated Inhibition of HIF1A for Treatment of Ocular Angiogenesis

Application Number: 20120245217

Filed: May 17, 2012

Lead Inventor: John Chatterton, Alcon

The patent application, its abstract states, claims “RNA interference … for inhibition of HIF1A mRNA expression for treating patients with ocular angiogenesis, particularly for treating retinal edema, diabetic retinopathy, sequela associated with retinal ischemia, posterior segment neovascularization, and neovascular glaucoma, and for treating patients at risk of developing such conditions.”


Title: Minor Groove Binder Oligonucleotide miRNA Antagonists

Application Number: 20120245219

Filed: June 7, 2012

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

The patent application, its abstract states, relates to “compositions and methods for inhibiting the actions of non-coding RNAs such as miRNAs and piRNAs. ... The compositions comprise single- or double-stranded oligonucleotides conjugated with minor groove binders. The oligonucleotides can vary in length, can contain nucleotides having one or more modifications, and have regions that are substantially complementary to one or more mature miRNAs or piRNAs.”


Title: RNA Interference by Single-Stranded RNA Molecules

Application Number: 20120246747

Filed: Dec. 19, 2011

Lead Inventor: Thomas Tuschl, Max Planck

The invention relates to “sequence and structural features of single-stranded RNA molecules required to mediate target-specific nucleic acid modifications by RNA interference, such as target mRNA degradation and/or DNA methylation.” according to the patent application's abstract.

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.