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IP Update: Recent Patents, Patent Applications Awarded to Silence, Alnylam, Nitto Denko, and More

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Title: Means for Inhibiting the Expression of Protein Kinase 3

Patent Number: 8,232,256

Filed: July 20, 2007

Lead Inventor: Jorg Kaufmann, Silence Therapeutics

The invention, the patent's abstract states, comprises “a nucleic acid molecule and uses thereof. The nucleic acid molecule comprises a double-stranded structure … whereby the first strand comprises a ... stretch of contiguous nucleotides … at least partially complementary to a target nucleic acid, and whereby the second strand comprises ... contiguous nucleotides ... at least partially complementary to the first stretch.”


Title: RNA Interference-Mediated Inactivation of Hepatitis B Virus in a Subject

Patent Number: 8,232,257

Filed: March 27, 2008

Lead Inventor: Anton McCaffrey, University of Iowa

The invention, the patent's abstract states, relates to “methods for targeted inactivation of viral genomes. In one embodiment, zinc-finger proteins in which DNA binding sites are altered such that they recognize and bind different, desired DNA sequences contained in hepatitis B virus and that include nuclease domains are used for inactivation. Other embodiments for targeted inactivation of viral genomes use small nucleic acid molecules, such as short microRNA molecules or short hairpin RNA molecules capable of mediating RNA interference against the hepatitis B virus.”


Title: In VivoProduction of Small Interfering RNAs that Mediate Gene Silencing

Patent Number: 8,232,260

Filed: Feb. 21, 2011

Lead Inventor: Phillip Zamore, University of Massachusetts

“The invention provides engineered RNA precursors that when expressed in a cell are processed by the cell to produce targeted small interfering RNAs that selectively silence targeted genes using the cell's own RNA interference pathway,” according to the patent's abstract. “By introducing nucleic acid molecules that encode these engineered RNA precursors into cells in vitro with appropriate regulatory sequences, expression of the engineered RNA precursors can be selectively controlled both temporally and spatially.”


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

Patent Number: 8,232,383

Filed: April 7, 2008

Lead Inventor: James McSwiggen, Sirna Therapeutics (Merck)

The invention, the patent's abstract states, “concerns methods and reagents useful in modulating gene expression in a variety of applications, including use in therapeutic, diagnostic, target validation, and genomic discovery applications. Specifically, the invention relates to synthetic chemically modified small nucleic acid molecules ... capable of mediating RNA interference against target nucleic acid sequences. The small nucleic acid molecules are 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: siRNA Targeting Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor 1B

Patent Number: 8,232,385

Filed: July 5, 2011

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

“Efficient sequence-specific gene silencing is possible through the use of siRNA technology,” according to the patent's abstract. “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 including those directed to nucleotide sequences for CDKN1B.”


Title: siRNA Targeting Apolipoprotein B

Patent Number: 8,232,386

Filed: Oct. 27, 2011

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

“Efficient sequence-specific gene silencing is possible through the use of siRNA technology,” according to the patent's abstract. “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 including those directed to nucleotide sequences for ApoB.”


Title: Methods and Compositions for Prevention or Treatment of RSV Infection

Application Number: 20120189555

Filed: Jan. 26, 2012

Lead Inventor: Akshay Vaishnaw, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

The patent application, its abstract states, claims “methods and compositions ... for the prevention or treatment of RSV infection in a human. The methods include administering one or more doses of a composition comprising an siRNA. The dose can be formulated for topical or parenteral administration. Topical administration includes administration as a nasal spray, or by inhalation of respirable particles or droplets. The siRNA comprises a sense strand of ALN-RSV01 and an antisense strand of ALN-RSV01.”


Title: Drug Carrier and Drug Carrier Kit for Inhibiting Fibrosis

Application Number: 20120189691

Filed: April 4, 2012

Lead Inventor: Yoshiro Niitsu, Nitto Denko

The patent application claims “an astrocyte-specific drug carrier containing a retinoid derivative and/or a vitamin A analog as a constituent; a drug delivery method with the use of the same; a drug containing the same; and a therapeutic method with the use of the drug,” according to its abstract. “By binding a drug carrier to a retinoid derivative such as vitamin A or a vitamin A analog or encapsulating the same in the drug carrier, a drug for therapeutic use can be delivered specifically to astrocytes. As a result, an astrocyte-related disease can be efficiently and effectively inhibited or prevented while minimizing side effects.

An example of a “drug inhibiting the activity or growth of astrocytes … [is] a siRNA against HSP47 [that] is a collagen-specific molecule chaperone [that] may be encapsulated in the drug carrier. Thus, the secretion of type I to type IV collagens can be inhibited at the same time and, in its turn, fibrosis can be effectively inhibited,” the abstract adds.


Title: miRNA Inhibition of Six1 Expression

Application Number: 20120190729

Filed: July 27, 2010

Lead Inventor: Heide Ford, University of Colorado

“The invention provides a method of treating cancer in a subject comprising administering … an miRNA that inhibits Six1,” the patent application's abstract states. “In some embodiments, the invention further provides for the administration of a second cancer therapy to the subject.”


Title: Targeting Cells with Altered microRNA Expression

Application Number: 20120190730

Filed: June 2, 2006

Inventor: Michael Zenon Michael, Flinders University

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, “relates to a method of modulating development of a cell … [by] introducing into the cell a nucleic acid with the capacity to modulate development of the cell.” The nucleic acid includes “a target site for binding of a microRNA, wherein the activity and/or concentration of the microRNA in the cell results in a level of activity and/or concentration of the nucleic acid in the cell sufficient to modulate development of the cell,” it adds.


Title: Selecting and Stabilizing dsRNA Constructs

Application Number: 20120192317

Filed: Nov. 28, 2011

Lead Inventor: Gregory Heck, Monsanto

“The invention provides methods for selecting nucleotide sequences that yield dsRNA-mediated gene suppression in a target organism and enable their uptake by the target organism,” the patent application's abstract states. “The invention further provides expression constructs that confer stabilized expression of such sequences in a transgenic host cell, and methods for their use. Also provided are organisms, cells and tissues prepared by a method of the invention.”

The Scan

Should've Been Spotted Sooner

Scientists tell the Guardian that SARS-CoV-2 testing issues at a UK lab should have been noticed earlier.

For Martian Fuel

Researchers have outlined a plan to produce rocket fuel on Mars that uses a combination of sunlight, carbon dioxide, frozen water, cyanobacteria, and engineered E. coli, according to Gizmodo.

To Boost Rapid Testing

The Washington Post writes that new US programs aim to boost the availability of rapid at-home SARS-CoV-2 tests.

PNAS Papers on Strawberry Evolution, Cell Cycle Regulators, False-Positive Triplex Gene Editing

In PNAS this week: strawberry pan-genome, cell cycle-related roles for MDM2 and MDMX, and more.