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Six RNAi-Related Patent Applications Published by the US Patent Office: Jul 30, 2004

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Title: Nucleic Acid-Based Modulation of Gene Expression in the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Pathway. Number: 20040142895. Filed: Dec. 2, 3003. Lead Inventor: Jennifer Lockridge, Sirna Therapeutics.

According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention “relates to nucleic acid molecules, including dsRNA, siRNA, [and] antisense … which modulate the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor and/or vascular endothelial growth factor receptor genes for the treatment and/or diagnosis of female reproductive disorders and conditions, including but not limited to endometriosis, endometrial carcinoma, gynecologic bleeding disorders, irregular menstrual cycles, ovulation, premenstrual syndrome, and menopausal dysfunction.”


Title: Antisense Oligonucleotide Modulation of Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha Expression. Number: 20040142346. Filed: Aug. 29, 2003. Lead Inventor: Brenda Baker, Isis Pharmaceuticals.

The invention, the patent application’s abstract states, comprises “compositions and methods … for inhibiting the expression of human tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Antisense oligonucleotides targeted to nucleic acids encoding TNF-alpha are preferred,” the abstract notes, and “methods of using these oligonucleotides for inhibition of TNF-alpha expression and for treatment of diseases, particularly inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, associated with over-expression of TNF-alpha are provided.”


Title: Compositions Against Cancer Antigen LIV-1 and Uses Thereof. Number: 20040141983. Filed: Jan. 29, 2004. Lead Inventor: Debbie Law, Protein Design Labs.

The patent application, states its abstract, covers “methods and compositions that can be used for [the] diagnosis and treatment of cancer.”

The application specifically claims “a double-stranded ribonucleic acid,” such as an siRNA, and a method of treating breast cancer or prostate cancer using the dsRNA.


Title: Compositions and Methods for Inhibiting Tumor Growth and Metastasis. Number: 20040142897. Filed: Dec. 12, 2003. Inventor: David Waisman, University of Calgary.

The patent application’s abstract states that the invention comprises “compositions and methods useful in the reduction of p11 protein activity in cancer cells.

“P11 protein is demonstrated to affect plasmin production and activity, MMP activity, plasminogen activation, antiangiogenic plasmin fragment production, cell invasion, tumor development, and metastasis,” the abstract notes. “Compositions that modulate levels of p11 either up or down are demonstrated to be effective in reducing tumor development.”

Also disclosed by the application, the abstract adds, “are cancer treatment methods that employ compositions that modulate p11 activity and clonal cell lines and assays useful for the identification of compositions that modulate p11 activity.”

The application claims a composition, including a small interfering RNA specific to p11, that “modulates the activity of a p11 protein and effects a change in the level of plasminogen activation by a cell.”


Title: Liposomal Apparatus and Manufacturing Methods. Number: 20040142025. Filed: June 30, 2003. Lead Inventor: Ian MacLachlan, Protiva Biotherapeutics.

According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention “provides apparatus and processes for producing liposomes. By providing a buffer solution in a first reservoir, and a lipid solution in a second reservoir, continuously diluting the lipid solution with the buffer solution in a mixing chamber produces a liposome,” it adds. “The lipid solution preferably comprises an organic solvent, such as a lower alkanol.”

The application claims a process for producing a liposome encapsulating a therapeutic product, including an siRNA.


Title: ATRX and Uses Thereof. Number: 20040141977. Filed: Oct. 30, 2003. Lead Inventor: Paz Einat, University of Illinois at Chicago.

“The present invention discloses uses for the ATRX gene and/or polypeptide and/or modulators thereof in the diagnosis and treatment of apoptosis-related disease,” the patent application’s abstract notes.

The application claims “a method for treatment of an apoptosis-related disease in a subject comprising administering to said subject a therapeutically effective amount of an inhibitor,” including an siRNA, “of the ATRX polypeptide, in a dosage sufficient to inhibit ATRX so as to thereby treat the subject.”

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