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US Patent Office Publishes Five RNAi-Related Patent Applications


Title: PAAD Domain-Containing Polypeptides, Encoding Nucleic Acids, and Methods of Use. Number: 20040002593. Filed: April 4, 2003. Lead Inventor: John Reed, Burnham Institute.

The patent application’s abstract states that the invention “provides isolated nucleic acid molecules encoding PAAD domain-containing polypeptides and functional fragments thereof, including fragments containing PAAD domains, NACHT domains, and ARED domains, encoded polypepetides, and antibodies.”

The patent application also covers “methods of identifying polypeptides and agents that associate with a PAAD domain-containing polypeptide or fragment thereof, or that alter an association of a PAAD domain-containing polypeptide,” the abstract states. “Further provided are methods of identifying agents that modulate PAAD domain-mediated inhibition of NF-kappa B activity, or modulate an activity of a NACHT domain of a PAAD domain-containing polypeptide.”

The abstract adds that it covers “methods of modulating NF-kappa B transcriptional activity in a cell, and methods of altering expression of a PAAD domain-containing polypeptide in a cell.”

The patent application specifically covers “a method of decreasing expression of a PAAD domain-containing polypeptide in a cell, comprising introducing an antisense or dsRNA nucleic molecule into a cell.”

Title: Statistical Algorithms for Folding and Target Accessibility Prediction and Design of Nucleic Acids. Number: 20040002083. Filed: Jan. 22, 2003. Lead Inventor: Ye Ding, Wadsworth Center.

According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention is a method “of predicting single-stranded regions in the secondary structure of a nucleic acid molecule in accordance with a probability distribution of structures based on recursively generated partition functions for the identification of accessible sites on target RNA for gene down-regulation and the rational design of antisense oligos, trans-cleaving ribozymes, siRNAs, and antisense RNAs, for interaction with other RNA-targeting molecules, and for rational design of nucleic acid probes such as molecular beacons for RNA or DNA targets.”

Title: SiRNA Expression System and Methods for Producing Functional Gene Knockdown Cell Using the System. Number: 20040002077. Filed: Nov. 27, 2002. Lead Inventor: Kazunari Taira, Center for Advanced Science and Technology Incubation.

The patent application, its abstract states, covers an “in vivo siRNA expression system … that intracellularly expresses small interfering RNAs and comprises antisense and sense code DNAs coding for antisense and sense RNAs targeting any region of a target gene mRNA and one or more promoters that function to express the antisense and sense RNAs from the antisense and sense code DNAs, respectively.”

Title: Compositions and Methods for Inhibiting Expression of Anti-Apoptotic Genes. Number: 20040001811. Filed: March 7, 2003. Lead Inventor: Roland Kreutzer, Ribopharma (Alnylam).

According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention “relates to a double-stranded ribonucleic acid for inhibiting the expression of an anti-apoptotic gene, comprising a complementary RNA strand having a nucleotide sequence which is less than 25 nucleotides in length and which is substantially identical to at least a part of an apoptotic gene, such as a Bcl gene.”

The abstract adds that “the invention also relates to a pharmaceutical composition comprising the dsRNA together with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier; methods for treating diseases caused by the expression of an anti-apoptotic gene using the pharmaceutical composition; and methods for inhibiting the expression of an anti-apoptotic gene in a cell.”

Title: Fiber-Shaft Modifications for Efficient Targeting. Number: 20040002060. Filed: Jan. 24, 2003. Lead Inventor: Michael Kaleko, Novartis.

The patent application, its abstract states, covers adenoviral vectors and the production of such vectors. In particular, fiber shaft modifications for efficient targeting of adenoviral vectors are provided.”

The abstract adds that the modifications can be “combined with other modifications, such as fiber knob and/or penton modifications, to produce fully ablated (detargeted) adenoviral vectors.”

The patent application also claims “nucleic acids encoding … capsid proteins. The nucleic acids can be provided as vectors, particularly as adenoviral vectors … [and these] can include heterologous nucleic acids that encode or provide products, such as therapeutic products.

“Heterologous nucleic acids can encode a polypeptide, or comprise or encode a regulatory sequence, such as a promoter or an RNA, including RNAi, small RNAs, other double-stranded RNAs, antisense RNAs, and ribozymes,” the application states.

The patent application is related to another patent application — number 20030215948 — filed by the same inventor a few months later, yet published earlier.

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