Regulus Therapeutics, a microRNA drugs joint venture between Isis Pharmaceuticals and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, said this week that it has been notified that the US Patent and Trademark Office has allowed a patent application within one of the company's patent families.
The patent application, No. 20050261218 and titled "Oligomeric Compounds and Compositions for Use in Modulation [of] Small Non-Coding RNAs," claims methods of inhibiting the liver-specific miRNA miR-122, which has been shown to play a role in hepatitis C virus replication.
"Specifically, the claims encompass methods of inhibiting miR-122 in a cell using a broad class of [miRNA antagonists] with sugar modifications at each nucleoside, such as 2'-MOE or bicyclic nucleic acid modifications, and with or without the addition of conjugate groups," the company said.
The company said it expects the patent office to issue a final patent on the application within a year.