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US Patent Office Publishes Six New RNAi-Related Patent Applications


Title: Methods and Reagent for the Modulation of Female Reproductive Diseases and Conditions. Number: 20030216335. Filed: Nov. 27, 2002. Lead Inventor: Jennifer Lockridge, Sirna Therapeutics.

The invention, states the patent application’s abstract, relates to “nucleic acid molecules, including dsRNA [and] siRNA”—- as well as antisense, 2,5-A chimeras, aptamers, and enzymatic nucleic acid molecules, such as hammerhead ribozymes, DNAzymes, and allozymes — “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.”

Title: Fiber Shaft Modifications for Efficient Targeting. Number: 20030215948. Filed: March 27, 2003. Lead Inventor: Michael Kaleko, Novartis.

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

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.

Title: Methods for Enhancing Targeted Gene Alteration Using Oligonucleotides. Number: 20030215947. Filed: Jan. 24, 2003. Lead Inventor: Eric Kmiec, University of Delaware.

The patent application covers methods for “enhancing the efficacy of oligonucleotide-mediated repair or alteration of genetic information,” the abstract states. “The methods comprise using cells or cell-free extracts having altered levels or activity of at least one protein from the RAD52 epstasis group, the mismatch repair group, or the nucleotide excision repair group.”

Methods for reducing or eliminating the protein activity covered by the patent application claims include engineered extragenic elements such as “antisense methods, ribozyme methods, cosuppression, gene silencing methods, RNA interference methods, and using triplex-forming oligonucleotides.”

Title: System and Method for Characterizing Microarray Output Data. Number: 20030215867. Filed: May 5, 2003. Inventor: Sandeep Gulati, ViaLogy.

The patent application’s abstract states that the invention is a “novel spectral transformation technique for characterizing digitized intensity output patterns from microarrays.”

Specifically, the patent application claims “a method for characterizing information from a pixellated output pattern of a microarray having one or more objects of interest.” The steps of the method are “extracting pixels within the output pattern representative of each object of interest, and transforming the intensity representative of the extracted pixels to a spectral representation.”

This method, the patent application claims, applies to patterns from a variety of microarrays, including hybridized spotted “cDNA microarrays, synthesized oligonucleotide microarrays … siRNA duplexes, [and] RNAi arrays.”

Title: Modulators of the CLC-7 Chloride Channel and Methods for Their Identification and Use in the Treatment and Prevention of Osteoporosis and Related Disease States. Number: 20030215787. Filed: Jan. 23, 2003. Lead Inventor: Wen-Pin Yang, Bristol-Myers Squibb.

This patent application, its abstract states, covers compounds that act to modulate the chloride channel CLC-7, assays for identifying such compounds, and methods of “preventing, diagnosing, and treating osteoporosis and related disease states using such compounds.”

The present invention further includes the use of antisense or RNAi therapy,” the abstract adds. “Gene constructs useful in antisense or RNAi therapy may be administered in any biologically effective carrier.”

Title: Methods and Compositions for Inhibiting the Growth of Hematopoietic Malignant Cells. Number: 20030215445. Filed: Dec. 18, 2002. Inventor: Ginette Serrero, University of Maryland.

The patent application’s abstract states that the invention relates to “compositions and methods for reducing the growth of hematopoietic malignant cells, e.g., B-cell leukemia cells. The methods involve reducing the growth of hematopoietic malignant cells by contacting [these] cells with GP88 antagonists.”

The antagnonists include anti-GP88 nucleic acids such as an “antisense nucleic acid [or] RNAi,” the patent application claims.


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