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Six New RNAi-Related Patent Applications Published By US Patent Office: Jun 4, 2004


Title: Identification and Use of Cytochrome P450 Nucleic Acid Sequences from Tobacco. Number: 20040103449. Filed: Nov. 13, 2002. Inventor: Dongmei Xu, US Smokeless Tobacco Company.

The patent application, its abstract states, covers an invention relating “to P450 enzymes and nucleic acid sequences encoding P450 enzymes in plants, more specifically tobacco, and methods of using those enzymes and nucleic acid sequences to alter plant phenotypes.”

The application claims “a method of producing a transgenic plant [by] … operably linking [a] nucleic acid molecule [including an RNAi molecule] with a promoter functional in said plant to create a plant transformation vector, and transforming said plant with said plant transformation vector.”

Title: Nucleic Acid-Mediated Treatment of Diseases or Conditions Related to Levels of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor. Number: 20040102389. Filed: Nov. 4, 2002. Lead Inventor: Pamela Pavco, Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals (Sirna Therapeutics).

“The present invention,” the patent application’s abstract states, “relates to nucleic acid molecules such as ribozymes, DNAzymes, short interfering RNA, short interfering nucleic acid, and antisense, which modulate the synthesis, expression, and/or stability of an mRNA encoding one or more receptors of vascular endothelial growth factor, such as flt-1 (VEGFR1) and/or KDR (VEGFR2).”

The abstract adds that “nucleic acid molecules and methods for the inhibition of angiogenesis and treatment of cancer and other conditions associated with VEGF-2 are provided, optionally in conjunction with other therapeutic agents such as interferons.”

Title: Methods to Overcome Inhibition of Growth Cone Translocation. Number: 2004012375. Filed: May 15, 2003. Lead Inventor: Lorene Lanier, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention “relates to methods for regulating neural growth and regeneration. In particular, methods for promoting neural growth are described.”

The patent application claims a method of enhancing nerve cell growth by reducing Arp2/3 activity in a nerve cell through the introduction of an Arp2/3 inhibitor, including an RNAi molecule.

Title: Diagnosis and Treatment of Chemoresistant Tumors. Number: 20040101915. Filed: June 18, 2003. Lead Inventor: Quinn Deveraux, The Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation.

“The invention provides methods of identifying compounds that selectively target cancer cells that have defects in specific oncogenic pathways,” the patent application’s abstract states.

The application specifically claims a method of identifying a gene involved in a cell death pathway by “providing a library of cDNA or inhibitory RNA molecules [including siRNAs], wherein each library member is present in the cell, [by] contacting the cells with a compound that can modulate cell death in a cell that does not comprise the cDNA or inhibitory RNA molecules, and [by] identifying library members in which the compound modulates cell death differently than in a cell that does not contain the cDNA or inhibitory RNA molecule.”

Title: Modulation of PAK1 Expression. Number: 20040102623. Filed: Nov. 23, 2002. Lead Inventor: Brett Monia, Isis Pharmaceuticals.

The invention, the patent application’s abstract states, comprises “compounds, compositions, and methods … for modulating the expression of PAK1. The compositions comprise oligonucleotides [such as an RNA oligonucleotide], targeted to nucleic acid encoding PAK1,” it adds.

Also covered are the use of the compounds in a prophylactically or therapeutically effective amount to treat a hyperproliferative disorder associated with PAK1.

Title: Modulation of Hepatocyte Growth Factor Receptor Expression. Number: 20040102622. Filed: Nov. 23, 2002. Lead Inventor: Nicholas Dean, Isis Pharmaceuticals.

The patent application’s abstract states that the invention comprises “compounds, compositions, and methods … for modulating the expression of hepatocyte growth factor receptor. The compositions comprise oligonucleotides [such as an RNA oligonucleotide duplex], targeted to a nucleic acid encoding hepatocyte growth factor receptor,” it states.

The application also claims a method of treating a hyperproliferative disorder associated with hepatocyte growth factor receptor by administering a therapeutically or prophylactically effective amount of the aforementioned compounds.

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