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IP Update: Recent RNAi- and microRNA-Related Patents and Patent Applications: Oct 20, 2011

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Title: Bioinformatically Detectable Group of Novel Regulatory Genes and Uses Thereof

Patent Number: 8,039,608

Filed: Aug. 13, 2003

Inventor: Isaac Bentwich, Rosetta Genomics

The invention, the patent's abstract states, relates to “a group of novel human genes, here identified as genomic address messengers or GAM[s]. GAM genes selectively inhibit translation of known target genes, many of which are known to be involved in various diseases. Several nucleic acid molecules are provided respectively encoding several GAM genes, as are vectors and probes both comprising the nucleic acid molecules, and methods and systems for selectively enhancing translation of the respective target genes, and for detecting expression thereof.”


Title: siRNA Targeting Superoxide Dismutase

Patent Number: 8,039,610

Filed: Oct. 29, 2009

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, compositions, and kits generated through rational design of siRNAs are disclosed including those directed to nucleotide sequences for SOD1.”


Title: Transdermal Delivery System for Polynucleotides

Patent Number: 8,041,421

Filed: Jan. 25, 2005

Lead Inventor: James Birchall, TransPharma Medical

The invention, the patent's abstract states, comprises “a system for intradermal or transdermal delivery of oligonucleotides or polynucleotides and methods of use thereof [that] employ an apparatus that generates micro-channels in the skin of a subject in conjunction with a pharmaceutical composition comprising an oligonucleotide or polynucleotide, wherein the oligonucleotide or polynucleotide can be delivered into the organism through the micro-channels. The system and methods achieve expression of target proteins encoded by the polynucleotides, and hence are useful in immunization and gene therapy.”


Title: Use of microRNA Signatures for Assessing Risk Levels of Neuroblastoma Patients

Application Number: 20110250192

Filed: Aug. 3, 2009

Lead Inventor: Alice Yu, Academia Sinica

The invention comprises “methods for assessing the risk level or survival/death probability of a neuroblastoma patient based on a number of microRNA signatures, optionally in combination with Dicer, Drosha, and age at diagnosis,” the patent application's abstract states. “Also disclosed herein is use of Dicer, Drosha, or both in suppressing neuroblastoma cell growth.”


Title: Single-Stranded and Double-Stranded Oligonucleotides Comprising a Metal-Chelating Ligand

Application Number: 20110250138

Filed: July 30, 2008

Lead Inventor: Yupend Fan, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“The invention provides modified oligonucleotides of formula ... comprising at least one metal chelator,” the patent application's abstract states. “The chelated metals provide luminescent properties [that] enable detection of the oligonucleotides through the use of time-resolved fluorescent quenching based on energy transfer from the metal ion to a nonfluorescent quencher which can be used as non-isotopic labels of oligonucleotides for diagnostics and evaluation of cellular uptake.”


Title: Method of Designing siRNAs for Gene Silencing

Application Number: 20110250591

Filed: May 4, 2011

Lead Inventor: Aimee Jackson, Merck

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, “provides a method for identifying siRNA target motifs in a transcript using a position-specific score matrix approach. The invention also provides a method for identifying off-target genes of an siRNA using a position-specific score matrix approach. The invention further provides a method for designing siRNAs with higher silencing efficacy and specificity. The invention also provides a library of siRNAs comprising siRNAs with high silencing efficacy and specificity.”


Title: Methods and Compositions for Treating Neurological Disease

Application Number: 20110251257

Filed: Oct. 8, 2010

Lead Inventor: Muthiah Manoharan, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“This invention relates to methods and compositions for treating neurological disease, and more particularly to methods of delivering iRNA agents to neural cells for the treatment of neurological diseases,” the patent application's abstract states.


Title: RNAi Constructs and Uses Thereof

Application Number: 20110251258

Filed: July 23, 2009

Lead Inventor: Dmitry Samarsky, RXi Pharmaceuticals

“The invention relates to improved double-stranded RNAi constructs and uses thereof,” the patent application's abstract states. “The [constructs comprise] a structure formed in some aspects of the invention by two identical single-stranded polynucleotides, with the structure having two double-stranded stem regions, each having less than 21 base pairs, and a loop or bulge having about 4 to 11 nucleotides on each strand. The construct is resistant to cleavage by Dicer or other Dicer-like RNase III enzymes and is capable of being loaded into a RISC complex to effect RNA interference. In addition, the nucleotides of the ... hairpin constructs may be modified to greatly enhance functionality, such as stability and specificity.”


Title: Compositions and Methods for Inhibiting Expression of CD274/PD-L1 Gene

Application Number: 20110251259

Filed: April 6, 2011

Lead Inventor: Antonin DeFougerolles, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“The invention relates to double-stranded ribonucleic acid compositions targeting the CD274/PD-L1 gene, and methods of using such dsRNA compositions to inhibit expression of CD274/PD-L1,” the patent application's abstract states.


Title: Novel siRNAs and Methods of Use Thereof

Application Number: 20110251260

Filed: April 7, 2011

Lead Inventor: Elena Feinstein, Quark Pharmaceuticals

“The invention relates to compounds, in particular siRNAs, which inhibit the expression of specific human genes,” the patent application's abstract states. “The invention also relates to pharmaceutical compositions comprising such compounds and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier."

The invention "also provides a method of treating and/or preventing the incidence or severity of various diseases or conditions associated with the genes and/or symptoms associated with such diseases or conditions comprising administering to a subject in need of treatment for such disease or condition and/or symptom the compound or the pharmaceutical composition in a therapeutically effective dose so as to thereby treat the subject,” it adds. “The invention also provides antibodies which inhibit specified human polypeptides and pharmaceutical compositions comprising one or more such antibodies.”


Title: Compositions and Methods for Inhibition of Nucleic Acids Function

Application Number: 20110251261

Filed: April 13, 2011

Lead Inventor: Christopher Burnett, Life Technologies

“The invention relates generally to compositions and methods for inhibiting the function of target nucleic acids by sequence-specific binding,” the patent application's abstract states. “The compositions and methods can be used for inhibition of microRNAs and other relatively short non-coding RNAs.”


Title: Compositions and Methods for Inhibiting Expression of an RNA from West Nile Virus

Application Number: 20110251262

Filed: Oct. 6, 2009

Lead Inventor: Dinah Sah, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“This invention relates to double-stranded ribonucleic acid and its use in mediating RNA interference to inhibit the expression of an RNA from the West Nile virus, and the use of the dsRNA to treat pathological processes mediated by WNV infection, such as viral encephalitis,” the patent application's abstract states.


Title: RNAi Modulation of the BCR-ABL Fusion Gene and Uses Thereof

Application Number: 20110251263

Filed: June 22, 2011

Lead Inventor: Philipp Hadwiger, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“The invention relates to compositions and methods for modulating the expression of Bcr-Abl, and more particularly to the down-regulation of Bcr-Abl mRNA and Bcr-Abl protein levels, by oligonucleotides via RNA interference,” according to the patent application's abstract.

The Scan

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Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.