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Nine RNAi-Related Patent Applications Published By US Patent Office

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Title: Methods and Means for Altering Fiber Characteristics in Fiber-Producing Plants. Number: 20050044590. Filed: Aug. 11, 2004. Lead Inventor: Yong Ling Ruan, CSIRO.

According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention comprises “methods and means … for modulating fiber length in fiber-producing plants such as cotton by altering the fiber elongation phase. The fiber elongation phase may be increased or decreased by interfering with callose deposition in plasmodesmata at the base of the fiber cells.”


Title: Short-Interfering RNA as an Antiviral Agent for Hepatitis C. Number: 20050043266. Filed: July 22, 2004. Lead Inventor: Sumedha Jayasena, Amgen.

“Hepatitis C virus is a major cause of chronic liver disease and affects over 270 million individuals worldwide,” the patent application’s abstract states. “The HCV genome is a single-stranded RNA that functions as both a messenger RNA and replication template, making it an attractive target for the study of RNA interference. Double-stranded short interfering RNA molecules designed to target the HCV genome are disclosed” in the patent application.


Title: Methods of Inhibiting Neurodegenerative Disease. Number: 20050043264. Filed: July 1, 2004. Lead Inventor: Jyh-Lyh Juang, National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan.

“The invention provides methods for treating neurodegenerative disease as well as methods for screening compounds for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease,” the patent application’s abstract states. “Transgenic animals, e.g., insects, which may be used as a model for neurodegenerative disease, are also provided.”

The application specifically claims the use of an siRNA to inhibit Abl kinase activity in order to treat Alzheimer’s disease.


Title: Use of Double-Stranded Ribonucleic Acid for Inducing Cell Lysis. Number: 20050043263. Filed: June 28, 2004. Lead Inventor: Klaus Giese, Atugen.

The invention, the patent application’s abstract states, “is related to the use of a ribonucleic acid for the manufacture of a medicament, wherein the ribonucleic acid comprises a double-stranded structure and the double-stranded structure comprises a first and a second strand; wherein the first strand comprises a first stretch of contiguous nucleotides and the second strand comprises a second stretch of contiguous nucleotides; wherein the first stretch is not complementary to a nucleic acid, preferably a mRNA, of a cell of an organism to be treated with said medicament; and/or wherein the second stretch is different from a nucleic acid, preferably a mRNA of a cell of an organism to be treated with said medicament.”


Title: Methods for Modulating IKK-Alpha Activity. Number: 20050043257. Filed: Dec. 8, 2003. Lead Inventor: Jun Li, Boehringer Ingelheim.

The patent application, its abstract states, covers “a method for modulating NF-kappa B-dependent gene transcription in a cell comprised of modulating IKK-alpha protein activity in the cell. The present invention also provides siRNA compositions and methods thereof for modulating NF-kappa B-dependent gene transcription.”


Title: Methods of Inducing Gene Expression. Number: 20050042752. Filed: June 28, 2004. PCT Filed: Sept. 27, 2002. Lead Inventor: Patrice Crete, Novartis.

The invention “relates to methods of regulating gene expression in eukaryotic cells, in particular providing stable and persistent expression that can undergo systemic spreading in plants,” the patent application’s abstract states.

The application specifically claims the application of nucleic acid-mediated silencing with a double-stranded ribonucleic acid.


Title: Phosphorus-Linked Oligomeric Compounds and Their Use in Gene Modulation. Number: 20050042647. Filed: June 3, 2004. Lead Inventor: Brenda Baker, Isis Pharmaceuticals.

The patent application, its abstract states, covers “oligonucleotide compositions comprising first and second oligonucleotides … wherein at least a portion of the first oligonucleotide is capable of hybridizing with at least a portion of the second oligonucleotide; at least a portion of the first oligonucleotide is complementary to and capable of hybridizing to a selected target nucleic acid; and at least one of the first or second oligonucleotides includes at least one nucleotide having a modified phosphorous-containing internucleoside linkage.

“Oligonucleotide/protein compositions are also [covered] comprising an oligonucleotide complementary to and capable of hybridizing to a selected target nucleic acid and at least one protein comprising at least a portion of an RNA-induced silencing complex, wherein at least one nucleotide of the oligonucleotide has a modified phosphorous-containing internucleoside linkage,” the abstract notes.


Title: RNA Interference Suppression of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Methods of Use. Number: 20050042646. Filed: June 2, 2004. Lead Inventor: Beverly Davidson, University of Iowa (Sirna Therapeutics).

The … invention is directed to small interfering RNA molecules targeted against nucleic acid sequence that encodes huntingtin or ataxin-1, and methods of using these siRNA molecules,” the patent application’s abstract states.


Title: In Vivo High Throughput Selection of RNAi Probes. Number: 20050042641. Filed: May 25, 2004. Lead Inventor: Vivek Mittal, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

“In mammalian systems, RNA interference-based suppression of target gene expression may be activated by delivery of RNAi probes such as double stranded small interfering RNA molecules or short hairpin RNAs, where the RNAi probe sequence is homologous to the target gene,” the patent application’s abstract states. “A reliable and quantitative method is provided for the rapid and efficient identification of RNAi probes that are most effective in providing RNAi-mediated suppression of target gene expression. This method may be used for high-throughput screens to identify effective RNAi probes.”

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