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Two RNAi-Related Patent Applications Published by the US Patent Office: Oct 1, 2004

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Title: Characterization of Gene Function Using Double-Stranded RNA Inhibition. Number: 20040187170. Filed: April 16, 2004. Lead Inventor: Geert Plaetinck, DevGen.

According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention is a “method of identifying DNA responsible for conferring a particular phenotype in a cell [by]: constructing a cDNA or genomic library of the DNA of said cell in a suitable vector in an orientation relative to a promoter(s) capable of initiating transcription of said cDNA or DNA to double stranded RNA upon binding of an appropriate transcription factor to said promoter(s); introducing said library into one or more of said cells comprising said transcription factor, and; identifying and isolating a particular phenotype of said cell comprising said library and identifying the DNA or cDNA fragment from said library responsible for conferring said phenotype.”

The abstract adds that “using this technique it is also possible to assign function to a known DNA sequence by: identifying a homologue(s) of said DNA sequence in a cell; isolating the relevant DNA homologue(s) or a fragment thereof from said cell; cloning said homologue or fragment thereof into an appropriate vector in an orientation relative to a suitable promoter(s) capable of initiating transcription of dsRNA from said DNA homologue or fragment upon binding of an appropriate transcription factor to said promoter(s), and; introducing said vector into said cell from [the first] step comprising said transcription factor.”


Title: Modified Oligonucleotides for Use in Gene Modulation. Number: 20040185479. Filed: Jan. 14, 2004. Lead Inventor: Robert Andrews.

“The present invention provides modified oligomeric compounds for use in the RNA interference pathway of gene modulation,” the patent application’s abstract states. “The modified oligomeric compounds are each prepared having a 5’-phosphate precursor which can be modulated to provide a 5’-phosphate group under selected conditions. In another embodiment of the invention the 5’-phosphate precursor is labile inside a target cell thereby providing oligomeric compounds having a 5’-phosphate intercellularly.”

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