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One Patent and Five Patent Applications Related to RNAi Published by USPTO


Title: Gene Silencing. Number: 6,753,139. Filed: Jan. 26, 2000. Lead Inventor: David Charles Baulcombe, Plant Bioscience.

The patent, states its abstract, covers methods for “screening for the occurrence of gene silencing (e.g., post-transcriptional gene silencing) in an organism. Also provided are methods for isolating silencing agents so identified,” the abstract notes.

According to the patent, the detection method involves obtaining a sample of material from a plant; producing a nucleic acid extract from the sample; analyzing the extract to determine the presence or absence of short RNA molecules, which are 21 to 25 nucleotides in length; characterizing these short RNA molecules to determine sequence identity or similarity with a target gene; and correlating the molecules’ presence with the occurrence of gene silencing.

The patent also covers the preparation of a library of genes from a plant and identifying which genes share sequence identity or similarity with small RNA molecules present.

Title: Methods of Secretory Vimentin Detection and Modulation. Number: 20040121419. Filed: Sept. 24, 2003. Lead Inventor: David Markovitz, University of Michigan.

According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention “relates to methods for screening and modulating the bioavailability of extracellular secretory vimentin. In particular, the present invention provides inhibitors and activators of secretory vimentin including antibodies, small interfering RNAs, and antisense oligonucleotides,” it adds. The invention “thus provides novel drug targets for enhanced anti-microbial response, and methods of using such modulators to beneficially alter the pathophysiologic effects of secretory vimentin.”

Title: Modulation of TCPTP Signal Transduction by RNA Interference. Number: 20040121353. Filed: May 23, 2003. Lead Inventor: Stephen Patrick Lewis, Ceptyr.

The patent application, its abstract states, covers compositions and methods relating to “small interfering RNA polynucleotides … as pertains to modulation of biological signal transduction.”

The siRNAs covered by the patent application “interfere with expression of TCPTP, a member of the protein tyrosine phosphatase class of enzymes that mediate signal transduction,” the abstract states. “In certain preferred embodiments [of the invention], siRNA[s] modulate signal transduction pathways comprising human or murine TCPTP and, in certain further embodiments, insulin receptor, c-jun kinase, and/or JAK2.”

The abstract notes that modulation of TCPTP-mediated biological signal transduction has uses in diseases associated with defects in cell proliferation, cell differentiation, and cell survival. These include metabolic disorders, cancer, autoimmune disease, infectious disorders, and inflammatory disorders.

Title: Compositions and Methods for Treating Pancreatic Cancer. Number: 20040121348. Filed: March 7, 2003. Lead Inventor: Roland Kreutzer, Ribopharma (Alnylam Pharmaceuticals).

“The present invention relates to a double-stranded ribonucleic acid for inhibiting the expression of a K-ras oncogene, comprising a complementary RNA strand [that] is substantially identical to at least part of a K-ras gene,” the patent application’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 the expression of a K-ras oncogene using the pharmaceutical composition, and methods for inhibiting expression of a K-ras oncogene in a cell.”

Title: Treatment of Cancer. Number: 20040121952. Filed: June 6, 2003. Lead Inventor: Shmuel Ben-Sasson, Children’s Medical Center.

The invention, states the patent application’s abstract, “concerns methods for the treatment of solid tumors by the inhibition of Lyn-associated signal transduction,” specifically “inhibitors [that] comprise sequences derived from specific regions of the Lyn.”

The application specifically claims an siRNA as a Lyn-associated signal transduction inhibitor.

Title: Methods and Compositions for Modulating Apoptosis. Number: 20040121463. Filed: July 25, 2003. Lead Inventor: Guido Franzoso, University of Chicago.

“Methods and compositions for modulating apoptosis by acting on the c-Jun-N-terminal kinase pathway and assays for the isolation of agents capable of modulating apoptosis, including modulators of the JNK pathway are disclosed” in the patent application, according to its abstract. “ The patent application specifically claims the contacting of a cell with an agent that is able to block suppression of JNK activation by Gadd45 proteins. This agent, the application states, can be an siRNA.


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