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Six New RNAi-Related Patent Applications Published by USPTO


Title: Nucleic Acid-Mediated Disruption of HIV Fusogenic Peptide Interactions. Number: 20040006035. Filed: April 22, 2003. Lead Inventor: Dennis Macejak, Sirna Therapeutics.

The patent application, its abstract states, covers an invention related to “nucleic acid aptamers that bind to HIV envelope glycoprotein, gp120, and/or gp41, and methods for their use alone or in combination with other therapies, such as HIV RT inhibitors and HIV protease inhibitors.”

Also covered are “nucleic acids such as siRNAs, antisense, and enzymatic nucleic acid molecules that can modulate the expression of HIV env genes and HIV viral replication,” and that the compounds and methods of the invention “are expected to inhibit HIV viral fusion, cell entry, gene expression, and replication,” the abstract states.

Title: Human PRSS11-Like S2 Serine Protease and Uses Thereof. Number: 20040005659. Filed: July 3, 2002. Lead Inventor: Andrew Lawrence Darrow, Johnson & Johnson.

The patent application’s abstract states that the invention is a “novel human cDNA, termed PRSS11-L, [which] was isolated [and] encodes a polypeptide that belongs to the S2/HtrA serine protease family.”

“The nucleic acid or polypeptide molecule of the invention can be used in detection assays, gene therapy, and screening assays,” it adds.

The patent application notes that “the invention provides a method of decreasing the expression of PRSS11-L in a cell of a subject in need thereof, comprising steps of (a) introducing siRNA that targets the mRNA of the PRSS11-L gene for degradation into the cell of the subject; (b) maintaining the cell produced ... under conditions under which siRNA interference of the mRNA … in the cell of the subject occurs.”

Title: Use of NRG4, or Inhibitors Thereof, in the Treatment of Colon and Pancreatic Cancers. Number: 20040005622. Filed: June 3, 2003. Lead Inventor: Siew Schleyer, Chiron.

“This invention relates to compositions and uses of NRG4, and to variants thereof, and to polynucleotides encoding NRG4, for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes, particularly related to colon and pancreatic cancer,” the patent application’s abstract states. “This invention also relates to therapeutic agents based on or derived from the polynucleotides and proteins, NRG4 inhibitors, particularly antibodies capable of specifically binding to NRG4.”

The patent application adds that it specifically covers “a method for treating a NRG4 protein-modulated disorder in a subject, administering to said subject an effective amount of a composition consisting of an NRG4 polynucleotide, wherein said composition further comprises a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, wherein said polynucleotide is selected from the group consisting of an antisense construct, a ribozyme, and RNAi.”

Title: Gene SHINC-3 and Diagnostic and Therapeutic Uses Thereof. Number: 20040005603. Filed: April 10, 2003. Lead Inventor: Usha Kasid, Georgetown University/NeoPharm.

According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention “provides a SHINC-3 polynucleotide, which can be a nucleic acid encoding all or a portion of a SHINC-3 protein, or a complementary polynucleotide or antisense polynucleotide. “Desirably, the SHINC-3 polypeptide modulates apoptosis,” the abstract adds.

According to the abstract, aspects of the invention include diagnostic methods; a method for detecting or evaluating the prognosis of cancer; and a method of modulating, preventing, or treating cancer, tumor growth, and/or metastasis by administering an agent that modulates the expression and/or activity of SHINC-3.

The patent application notes that the aforementioned agent can be an antisense oligonucleotide, a ribozyme, or an RNAi molecule.

Title: Novel Method for Delivery and Intracellular Synthesis of SiRNA Molecules. Number: 20040005593. Filed: March 6, 2003. Inventor: James Lorens, Rigel Pharmaceuticals.

The patent application’s abstract states that the invention “relates to a method of screening for target polypeptides that bind to RNA, using affinity purification methods, and the use of such target polypeptides for drug discovery and in methods of treating and preventing disease.”

Title: Use of Specified TCF Target Genes to Identify Drugs for the Treatment of Cancer, in Particular Colorectal Cancer, in which TCF/Beta-Catenin/WNT Signaling Plays a Central Role. Number: 20040005313. Filed: July 16, 2002. Lead Inventor: Johannes Carolus Clevers, Kylix.

According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention “relates to the use of inhibitors of the expressed proteins of TCF target genes whose expression is regulated by TCF/beta-catenin complexes for the preparation of a therapeutical composition for the treatment of cancers in which TCF/beta-catenin signaling is deregulated.”

These inhibitors, the abstract notes, can be “small molecules, antisense RNA, and dsRNA for use in RNAi.”

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