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USPTO Publishes Five RNAi-Related Patent Applications: Feb 28, 2008

Title: Modified Gene-Silencing Nucleic Acid Molecules and Uses Thereof
Number: 20080044906
Filed: Sept. 10, 2004 PCT Filed: Sept. 10, 2004
Lead Inventor: Peter Waterhouse, University of Queensland
The patent application, its abstract states, claims “methods and means for efficiently down-regulating the expression of a target gene of interest in cells from … an animal, fungus, [or] protist. The invention provides chimeric nucleic acid molecules for down-regulating target genes. The invention also provides modified cells and organisms comprising the chimeric nucleic acid molecules and compositions comprising the chimeric molecules.”

Title: Oligonucleotide Microarray
Number: 20080045417
Filed: Oct. 13, 2004 PCT Filed: Oct. 13, 2004
Lead Inventor: Jan Weiler, Novartis
The invention “relates to oligonucleotide microarrays comprising short, chemically modified RNA oligonucleotides and uses of such microarrays in genomics applications,” the patent application’s abstract states. “More specifically, the invention provides an oligonucleotide array comprising a surface and a plurality of oligonucleotide, wherein at least one oligonucleotide has at least one modified sugar moiety at the 2'OH position. The microarrays of the invention are more specifically useful to detect small RNAs.”

Title: Method of Labeling and Profiling RNAs
Number: 20080045418
Filed: Aug. 6, 2007
Inventor: James Xia, GenoSensor
The patent application, its abstract states, claims “a method of selectively labeling non-messenger RNA molecules by isolating total RNA from a tissue or cell, dissolving the isolated RNA, optionally blocking 3' ends of the RNA, and adding T4 RNA ligase and a labeled nucleic acid adaptor, with the result that the T4 RNA ligase ligates the adaptor to RNA having a 5' phosphate group such as small RNAs.”
The application also claims “a method of sequence selection and probe design … a method of expression profiling small RNA by providing labeled small RNA [and] a microarray comprising a plurality of probes hybridizable to small RNA, incubating the labeled small RNA with the microarray, washing unhybridized RNA from the microarray and drying the microarray, staining hybridized RNA on the microarray, and scanning the labeled microarray to determine the identity and quantity of labeling to the various mRNA probe sites and thus providing an expression profile of small RNA.”

Title: Targets for Human microRNAs in Avian Influenza Virus Genome
Number: 20080045472
Filed: March 29, 2007
Lead Inventor: Samir Kumar Brahmachari, Indian National Academy of Sciences
The invention, the patent application’s abstract states, “relates to targets for human microRNAs in [the] avian influenza virus genome and provides specific miRNA targets against H5N1 virus.
“Existing therapies for avian flu are of limited use primarily due to genetic re-assortment of the viral genome, generating novel proteins, and thus escaping immune response,” the abstract notes. “In animal models, baculovirus-derived recombinant H5 vaccines were immunogenic and protective, but results in humans were disappointing even when using high doses. Currently, two classes of drugs are available with antiviral activity against influenza viruses… [but] there is paucity of information regarding effectiveness of these drugs in H5N1 infection. These drugs are also well known to have side effects like neurotoxicity. Thus, there exists a need to develop alternate therapy for targeting the avian flu virus.”

Title: siRNA Targeting Platelet-Derived Growth Factor Receptor Beta Polypeptide
Number: 20080045703
Filed: March 30, 2007
Lead Inventor: Anastasia Khvorova, Dharmacon (Thermo Fisher Scientific)
“Efficient sequence specific gene silencing is possible through the use of siRNA technology,” the patent application’s abstract states. “By selecting particular siRNAs by rational design, one can maximize the generation of an effective gene silencing reagent, as well as methods for silencing genes. Methods, compositions, and kits generated through rational design of siRNAs are disclosed including those directed to PDGFR.”

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