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Rosetta Genomics, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

USPTO Allows Claims in Two Rosetta miRNA Patent Applications
Rosetta Genomics this week announced that it has received notices of allowance for two US patent applications covering human and viral microRNAs.
The US Patent and Trademark Office typically grants patents on allowed claims within six months after a notice is issued.
According to the company, the first patent application — No. 10/604,726 — is related to two clustered human hairpins and their related miRNAs. The second — No. 10/604,942 — relates to miRNA US5-1, a viral microRNA found in human cytomegalovirus.
“Our leading intellectual property portfolio in microRNAs, which now includes two issued and two allowed patents, is a key component of our business strategy," Rosetta President and CEO Amir Avniel said in a statement. “Combining our proprietary microRNAs with microRNAs discovered in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University [and] exclusively licensed to Rosetta Genomics, we believe we have exclusive access to the majority of known human and viral microRNA genes.”

Japanese Patent Office Allows Claims in Alnylam’s Tuschl II Patent Application
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals said this week that the Japanese patent office has sent the company a notification that it will grant the claims of a patent within the Tuschl II patent family.
The patent application — No. 2002/546670 — includes 39 claims broadly covering compositions, methods, uses, and systems for small interfering RNAs, Alnylam said. The allowed claims specifically include a double-stranded region formed from two RNA strands with a length of 19-23 nucleotides, at least one 3'-overhang at the ends of the double-stranded molecule, and compositions with chemical modifications on the 3'-end of the siRNA to protect against degradation and/or the use of one or more nucleotide modification.
“The grant of claims in the Japanese Tuschl II patent extends the issuance of the Tuschl II patent in the US — US Patent Nos. 7,056,704 and 7,078,196 — and its grant in the European Union —EP 1407044,” the company noted.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.