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One Patent, Five Patent Applications Related To RNAi Published By USPTO This Week

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Title: Molecular Switch for Regulating Mammalian Gene Expression.

Number: 6,893,867.

Filed: Nov. 28, 2000.

Lead Inventor: Keith Webster, University of Miami School of Medicine.

The patent, its abstract states, covers "expression vectors … that are comprised of (a) one or more silencer elements and conditionally inducible elements to form silencer-inducible regions and (b) promoters in operative linkage upstream of at least one expressed region. The expression vector thereby regulates expression of at least one downstream region by conditional silencing in which an expressed DNA region of a gene is transcribed to produce RNA transcripts, which may or may not be translated to produce polypeptides," it notes.

"Genetically engineered mammalian cells and non-human mammals can be made using such expression vectors through transfection and transgenesis techniques," the abstract states. "Moreover, processes of making and using the aforementioned products are disclosed (e.g., the expression vector may be used diagnostically, therapeutically, or prophylactically)."


Title: Transgenic Plants with Improved Phenotypes.

Number: 20050108791.

Filed: Dec. 10, 2003.

Inventor: Michael Edgerton, Monsanto.

The invention, the patent application's abstract states, "is directed to seed from a transgenic plant, wherein the genome of said seed comprises an exogenous polynucleotide comprising a functional portion of an encoding region for a polypeptide provided herein, and wherein plants grown from said seed exhibit an enhanced phenotype as compared to the phenotype of a control plant. Of particular interest are plants wherein the enhanced phenotype is increased yield," it notes.

"Exogenous polynucleotides of the present invention include recombinant polynucleotides providing for expression of mRNA encoding a polypeptide, and recombinant polynucleotides providing for expression of mRNA complementary to at least a portion of an mRNA native to the target plant for use in gene suppression," the abstract states.


Title: Modified iRNA Agents.

Number: 20050107325.

Filed: Aug. 10, 2004.

Lead Inventor: Muthiah Manoharan, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.

"The invention relates to iRNA agents, which preferably include a monomer in which the ribose moiety has been replaced by a moiety other than ribose," the patent application's abstract states. "The inclusion of such a monomer can allow for modulation of a property of the iRNA agent into which it is incorporated, e.g., by using the non-ribose moiety as a point to which a ligand or other entity, e.g., a lipophilic moiety. e.g., cholesterol, is directly, or indirectly, tethered. The invention also relates to methods of making and using such modified iRNA agents."


Title: Agent for Inhibiting Development or Progress of Proliferative Diseases and Especially Cancer Diseases and Pharmaceutical Composition Containing Said Agent.

Number: 20050107316.

Filed: Aug. 23, 2004.

PCT Filed: Feb. 21, 2003.

Lead Inventor: Klaus Strebhardt, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University.

"The … invention concerns inhibition of the activity of PLK1, which seems to be connected with cancer growth," the patent application's abstract states. "Duplex RNAs antisense oligonucleotides and inhibitory peptides have been found to be useful in such inhibition, therefore they are claimed as ingredients for pharmaceutical compositions for the treatment of proliferative diseases, preferably cancer of various types."


Title: siRNA-Mediated Gene Silencing with Viral Vectors.

Number: 20050106731.

Filed: Aug. 15, 2002.

Lead Inventor: Beverly Davidson, University of Iowa (Sirna Therapeutics).

The invention "is directed to viral vectors encoding small interfering RNA molecules targeted against a gene of interest, and methods of using these viral vectors," the patent application's abstract notes.


Title: RNA Interference-Mediated Inhibition of Platelet-Derived Endothelial Cell Growth Factor Gene Expression Using Short-Interfering Nucleic Acid.

Number: 20050106726.

Filed: Aug. 29, 2003.

Lead Inventor: James McSwiggen, Sirna Therapeutics.

"The … invention concerns methods and reagents useful in modulating platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor and/or platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor receptor (e.g., ECGF1r) gene expression in a variety of applications, including use in therapeutic, diagnostic, target validation, and genomic discovery applications," the patent application's abstract states. "Specifically, the invention relates to small nucleic acid molecules, such as short interfering nucleic acid, short interfering RNA, double-stranded RNA, microRNA, and short hairpin RNA molecules capable of mediating RNA interference against ECGF1 and/or ECGF1r gene expression and/or activity. The small nucleic acid molecules are useful in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, proliferative diseases, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and any other disease or condition that responds to modulation of ECGF1 and/or ECGF1r expression or activity."

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.