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USPTO Publishes Five RNAi-Related Patent Applications: Dec 20, 2007

Title: siRNA That Inhibits WT1 Gene Expression and Uses Thereof
Number: 20070287175
Filed: March 29, 2005  PCT Filed: March 29, 2005
Lead Inventor: Haruo Sugiyama, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine
According to the patent application’s abstract, “siRNAs targeting the 17AA site of the WT1 gene not only suppress the expression of the WT1 gene, but also demonstrate remarkable cell growth-suppressing effects and cell death-inducing effects in cancer cell lines.”
The application specifically claims dsRNA targeting WT1.

Title: Rad51 Expression Inhibitors, Pharmaceutical Agents Containing the Inhibitors as Active Ingredients, and Uses Thereof
Number: 20070287677
Filed: March 30, 2005  PCT Filed: March 30, 2005
Inventor: Yasufumi Kaneda, GenomIdea
“A double-stranded RNA having a specific nucleotide sequence is useful for treating cellular proliferative disorders,” the patent application’s abstract states. “The double-stranded RNA acts as siRNA against the Rad51 gene. The double-stranded RNA of the … invention inhibits cellular proliferation itself. In addition, co-administration of the double-stranded RNA with a chemotherapeutic agent further enhances its pharmacological effect. The combined use of the double-stranded RNA with an agent having a nucleic acid synthesis-inhibitory activity or a nucleic acid-impairing activity is particularly effective.”

Title: Anti-Aging microRNAs
Number: 20070287678
Filed: June 23, 2006
Lead Inventor: Frank Slack, Yale University (Asuragen)
The patent application, its abstract states, claims “methods and compositions for modulating aging genes or their targets for the treatment or prevention of senescence or [related] symptoms.”
These methods and compositions, the abstract notes, “have been developed based on the discovery of naturally occurring inhibitory nucleic acids, in particular lin-4 miRNA, that down-regulate genes involved in senescence, lifespan, or age-related disorders. Representative aging genes include, but are not limited to lin-4, lin-14, let-7, lin-28, egl-35 and lin-42.”
Also claimed are “methods for identifying modulators of aging genes and targets of aging genes.”
The abstract adds that the “disclosed compositions are useful as diagnostics [that can] be used in assays to compare genes in normal individuals, with those who are aging well or who demonstrate early senescence, and with those who have age-related disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's [diseases]. The genes can be used to study the pathways and mechanisms involved in aging and age-related disorders. These genes can be used as drug targets, or in drug design, to develop drugs that can inhibit one or more characteristics of senescence or age-related disorders,” the abstract notes. “These compositions should be effective therapies for treating or slowing the effects of one or more symptoms or characteristics of age-related disorders resulting from activation or over-expression of aging genes. Compositions that alter the expression of particular aging genes affecting the insulin-like signal pathway are described. Suitable compositions described herein include, inhibitory nucleic acids and small molecules, in particular miRNA.”

Title: siRNA-Hydrophilic Polymer Conjugates for Intracellular Delivery of siRNA and Method Thereof
Number: 20070287681
Filed: Jan. 9, 2007
Lead Inventor: Ji Hoon Jeong, Bioneer
The invention, according to the patent application’s abstract, “is related to hybrid conjugates formed by covalently bonding siRNA molecules to hydrophilic polymers for improving stability of the siRNA molecules effective for delivering the siRNA in vivo, and polyelectrolyte complex micelles formed by ionic interactions between the conjugates and multifunctional cationic compounds. The siRNA-hydrophilic polymer conjugates and polyelectrolyte complex micelles … can be used for improving stability of the siRNA molecules in vivo. Consequently, the delivery of siRNA molecules for therapeutic applications into cells can be facilitated, and the siRNA is still active even though a small dose of the siRNA is used.”

Title: siRNA Targeting Minichromosome Maintenance Deficient 6
Number: 20070287833
Filed: June 7, 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 MCM6.”

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