Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and the University of Massachusetts Medical School last week announced that the European Patent Office has upheld the claims in a patent from the key Tuschl-I family of intellectual property, which covers the use of siRNAs to induce gene silencing.
The patent, EP 1309726, had been opposed by Sanofi-Aventis, Silence Therapeutics, and BASF, according to Alnylam. It is owned by the Max Planck Society, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, and UMMS.
"We are very pleased with the outcome of these opposition proceedings, which resulted in the claims from the Tuschl I '726 patent being fully upheld,” Alnylam CBO Laurence Reid said in a statement. “This decision by the EPO affirms our belief in the validity of these claims and the novelty of the Tuschl-I invention, and supports the relevance of Tuschl-I for the development and commercialization of RNAi therapeutics."
The Tuschl-I IP, along with a related patent family known as Tuschl-II, had been the subject of a legal dispute between its assignees.
That matter was settled about a year ago (GSN 3/17/2011).