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One RNAi-Related Patent, Six Patent Applications Published by the USPTO


Title: High-Throughput Transcriptome and Functional Validation Analysis. Number: 6,841,351. Filed: Oct. 19, 2001. Awarded: Jan. 11, 2005. Lead Inventor: Li Gan, AGY Therapeutics.

The patent, its abstract states, covers “methods for correlating genes and gene function. Such methods generally involve selecting a candidate gene that appears to be correlated with a particular cellular state or activity and then validating the role of the candidate gene in establishment of such a cellular state or activity. Certain methods utilize RNA interference techniques in the validation process,” the abstract adds.

Title: Methods of Inhibiting Gene Expression. Number: 20050004064. Filed: May 21, 2004. Lead Inventor: Kumiko Tei, Mitsubishi Chemical.

According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention “relates to a method for inhibiting expression of a target gene, which comprises transfecting a cell, tissue, or individual organism with a double-stranded polynucleotide comprising DNA and RNA having a substantially identical nucleotide sequence with at least a partial nucleotide sequence of the target gene.”

Title: Inhibition of SARS-Associated Infection and Replication by RNA Interference. Number: 20050004063. Filed: May 19, 2004. Lead Inventor: Hsiang-Fu Kung, University of Hong Kong.

“The … invention relates to therapeutic agents useful for the treatment of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in humans,” the patent application’s abstract states. “In particular, the present invention relates to RNA interference molecules useful for inhibiting the infection and replication of hSARS virus. Preferably, the RNAi molecules target the replicase region of the hSARS virus, or combinations of different sites of hSARS virus genes.”

“The … invention further encompasses methods of using the RNAi molecules for preventing and/or treating SARS,” the abstract adds. “Vaccines and kits comprising therapeutically effective amounts of the RNAi molecules are also encompassed.”

Title: ES Cells Having an Enhanced RNAi Effect. Number: 20050003541. Filed: May 13, 2004. Lead Inventor: Motoya Katsuki, Mitsubishi Chemical.

“The object of the … invention is to provide ES cells and mammals having enhanced RNAi effect, which can be used to analyze gene functions at an individual level,” the patent application’s abstract states. “The … invention provides ES cells having enhanced RNAi effect, which are obtained by performing genetic manipulation on ES cells.”

Title: Telomerase Interference. Number: 20050003404. Filed: April 22, 2004. Inventor: Peter Rowley, University of Rochester School of Medicine.

“The invention,” the patent application’s abstract states, “relates to nucleic acids encoding or comprising interfering RNAs which target telomerase RNA or mRNA encoding the telomerase reverse transcriptase. The invention includes methods for inhibiting telomerase-activity expression vectors and pharmaceutical compositions.”

Title: Method of Treating Corneal Transplant Rejection. Number: 20050004027. Filed: April 23, 2004. Lead Inventor: Stanley Wiegand, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention comprises “methods of preventing, reducing, or treating corneal transplant rejection to improve transplant survival in a subject in need thereof [by] administering an agent capable of blocking or inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factor. The methods are useful for inhibiting or preventing corneal transplant rejection in a human subject who is the recipient of a transplanted cornea.”

This VEGF antagonist can be an siRNA.

Title: Compositions and Methods for the Modulation of Gene Expression in Plants. Number: 20040268441. Filed: July 21, 2003. Lead Inventor: Vicki Bowman Vance, University of South Carolina.

“Compositions and methods for modulating nucleotide sequence expression, particularly for modulating gene expression in plants, are provided” by the patent application, it’s abstract states.

“The compositions comprise precursor RNA constructs for the expression of an RNA precursor,” the abstract states. “The precursor RNA construct comprises a promoter that is expressed in a plant cell driving the expression of a precursor RNA having a microRNA. The mRNA is complementary or partially complementary to a portion of a target gene or nucleotide sequence and function to modulate expression of the target sequence or gene. In this manner, the RNA precursor construct can be designed to modulate expression of any nucleotide sequence of interest, either an endogenous plant gene or alternatively a transgene. The precursor RNA constructs may be used in combination with modulators to enhance the effect on gene expression. Expression of a modulator in the presence of the precursor RNA alters the accumulation of miRNAs and thus enhances the regulatory capabilities of miRNAs.

“The invention further comprises the use of a modulator to control gene expression via both the siRNA and the miRNA pathway,” the abstract adds.

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