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IP Update: Recent Patents, Patent Applications Awarded to Tekmira; Asuragen, GE; Medtronic; and More


Title: Lipid Formulations for Nucleic Acid Delivery

Patent Number: 8,058,069

Filed: April 15, 2009

Lead Inventor: Edward Yaworski, Protiva Biotherapeutics (Tekmira Pharmaceuticals)

The invention comprises “novel, stable lipid particles comprising one or more active agents or therapeutic agents, methods of making the lipid particles, and methods of delivering and/or administering the lipid particles,” the patent's abstract states. “More particularly, the … invention provides stable nucleic acid-lipid particles comprising a nucleic acid, methods of making the SNALP, and methods of delivering and/or administering the SNALP.”

Title: Methods and Compositions Involving miRNA and miRNA Inhibitor Molecules

Patent Number: 8,058,250

Filed: Aug. 10, 2007

Lead Inventor: David Brown, Asuragen

The invention, the patent's abstract states, “concerns methods and compositions for introducing miRNA activity or function into cells using synthetic nucleic acid molecules. Moreover, the ... invention concerns methods and compositions for identifying miRNAs with specific cellular functions that are relevant to therapeutic, diagnostic, and prognostic applications wherein synthetic miRNAs and/or miRNA inhibitors are used in library screening assays.”

Title: Devices, Systems, and Methods for Improving Memory and/or Cognitive Function Through Brain Delivery of siRNA

Patent Number: 8,058,251

Filed: Oct. 31, 2007

Inventor: William Kaemmerer, Medtronic

The invention relates to “devices, systems, and methods for improving memory and/or cognitive function by brain delivery of compositions of small interfering RNA or vectors containing the DNA encoding for small interfering RNA,” the patent's abstract states. “Such compositions can be administered using devices, systems, and methods for direct delivery of the compositions to the brain, or using devices, systems, methods of delivery, and compositions that deliver small interfering RNA or vectors containing the DNA encoding the small interfering RNA across the blood-brain barrier.

“The ... invention also provides valuable small interfering RNA vectors, and methods for reduction of BACE1 levels in the hippocampus, cerebral cortex, or other regions of the brain that have beneficial effects on improving memory and/or cognitive function in a subject,” it adds.

Title: Methods and Compositions Concerning siRNAs as Mediators of RNA Interference

Patent Number: 8,058,255

Filed: June 15, 2009

Lead Inventor: Lance Ford, Applied Biosystems

The invention, the patent's abstract states, “concerns an isolated siRNA of from about 5 to about 20 nucleotides that mediates RNA interference. Also disclosed are methods of reducing expression of a target gene in a cell comprising obtaining at least one siRNA of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, or 20 basepairs in length and delivering the siRNA into the cell. The siRNAs can be chemically synthesized RNA or an analog of a naturally occurring RNA.”

Title: Polymeric Carrier for Delivery of Small Interfering RNA

Patent Number: 8,058,256

Filed: Jan. 21, 2010

Lead Inventor: Won Jong Kim, University of Utah

The invention, the patent's abstract states, comprises a “carrier for delivering small interfering RNA into cells [that] includes a cholesterol residue covalently bonded to oligoarginine. Mixing the siRNA with the carrier produces a complex-containing composition. Contacting a cell with the complex-containing composition results in delivery of the siRNA into the cell. Delivery of an siRNA targeted to vascular endothelial growth factor is a treatment for cancer. Methods of making the carrier and complex are also disclosed.”

Title: Compositions and Methods for Inhibiting Expression of a Gene from the JC Virus

Patent Number: 8,058,257

Filed: March 9, 2010

Lead Inventor: Pamela Tan, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“The invention relates to a double-stranded ribonucleic acid for inhibiting the expression of a gene from the JC virus comprising an antisense strand having a nucleotide sequence which is less that 30 nucleotides in length … [that] is substantially complementary to at least a part of a gene from the JC virus,” the patent's abstract states. “The invention also relates to a pharmaceutical composition comprising the dsRNA together with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier; methods for treating diseases caused by JC virus expression and the expression of a gene from the JC virus using the pharmaceutical composition; and methods for inhibiting the expression of a gene from the JC virus in a cell.”

Titles: Nucleic Acid-Delivery Vehicle and Uses Thereof

Application Numbers: 20110274706, 20110274706, 20110274757

Filed: May 4, 2010

Lead Inventor: John Nelson, General Electric

The invention comprises a “nucleic acid-delivery vehicle for delivering nucleic acids to target cells,” the patent application's abstract states. “The nucleic acid-delivery vehicle comprises a plurality of nanoparticles and a plurality of nucleic acids. The nanoparticles further comprise one or more signal peptides attached to the nanoparticles. The nanoparticles and the nucleic acids are agglomerated to form a nucleic acid-granulation particle having a dimension of at least 20 nm … [or] at least 5 nm. Methods of making the nucleic acid-delivery vehicle and kits comprising nucleic acid-delivery vehicle are also provided.”

Title: Instillation of Liposomal Formulation of siRNA and Antisense Oligonucleotides

Application Number: 20110274745

Filed: Nov. 10, 2010

Lead Inventor: Michael Chancellor, Lipella Pharmaceuticals

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, comprises a “pharmaceutically acceptable deliverable composition and methods for administration of macromolecules for sequence-specific gene-silencing in bladder to treat overactive bladder, interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome, lower urinary tract symptoms locally in the bladder, or other diseases or disorders of the bladder or LUTS. ... In the preferred embodiment, a liposome-based delivery system is used to deliver an effective amount of antisense oligonucleotides or siRNA that interact with or bind to messenger RNA coding for human nerve growth factor to stop the synthesis of NGF.”

Title: microRNA-Based Methods and Compositions for the Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Treatment of Ovarian Cancer Using a Real-Time PCR Platform

Application Number: 20110275534

Filed: March 25, 2009

Lead Inventor: David Cohn, Ohio State University

The patent application, its abstract states, claims “methods and compositions for the diagnosis, prognosis and/or treatment of ovarian cancer.”

Title: Highly Branched HK Peptides as Effective Carriers of siRNA

Application Number: 20110275785

Filed: June 6, 2010

Inventor: Archibald Mixson, University of Maryland

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, “is directed to methods of transfecting cells with siRNA by contacting a transfection complex … [that] includes a transport polymer and siRNA … with one or more cells. ... The invention is also directed to such transfection complexes and to compositions that include such transfection complexes … as well as methods of treating patients using the transfection complexes.”

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.