Marina Biotech this week announced that the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand said it will grant the company a patent covering its unlocked nucleobase analog technology.
The accepted patent application, No. 580712, specifically claims “multiple sequence-independent and length-independent nucleic acid constructs having one or more unlocked nucleobase analogs,” according to Marina. The constructs include RISC- and Dicer-length siRNAs, microRNA mimetics and antagonists, and single-stranded oligos.
UNAs comprise an acyclic ribonucleoside analog in which the bond between C2' and C3' atoms is broken. The resultant change in sugar structure is designed to make the analog flexible and reduce the binding affinity of an siRNA's strands.
"This allowed patent is part of our global UNA patent portfolio providing broad and comprehensive protection for multiple distinct UNA-containing nucleic acid constructs all of which can modulate gene expression through distinct cellular mechanisms including RNAi, mRNA translational inhibition, steric blocking, or microRNA pathways,” Marina President and CEO Michael French said in a statement.