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USPTO Publishes Four RNAi-Related Patent Applications: Jun 7, 2007

Title: Method for Genetic Control of Insect Infestations in Plants and Compositions Thereof
Numbers: 20070124836
Filed: Sept. 15, 2006
Lead Inventor: James Baum, Monsanto
The invention, the patent application’s abstract states, “relates to control of pest infestation by inhibiting one or more biological functions. The invention provides methods and compositions for such control. By feeding one or more recombinant double stranded RNA molecules provided by the invention to the pest, a reduction in pest infestation is obtained through suppression of gene expression. The invention is also directed to methods for making transgenic plants that express the double stranded RNA molecules, and to particular combinations of transgenic pesticidal agents for use in protecting plants from pest infestation.”

Title: Universal Target Sequences for siRNA Gene Silencing
Numbers: 20070123485
Filed: Oct. 12, 2006
Lead Inventor: Alik Honigman, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The invention “provides methods for designing a sequence for efficient short interference RNA molecules,” according to the patent application’s abstract. “In particular, the … invention defines a universal target for siRNA derived from the consensus sequence of the polyadenylation signal in conjunction with unique sequences for gene silencing and inhibition of viral replication in a eukaryotic host cell. The … invention further provides methods for the treatment and prevention of diseases and disorders by silencing a gene of a virus, an oncogene, genes encoding transcription factors, and many other diseases related genes.”

Title: Double-Stranded Compositions Comprising Differentially Modified Strands for Use in Gene Modulation
Numbers: 20070123484
Filed: Dec. 1, 2006
Lead Inventor: Bhat Balkrishen, Isis Pharmaceuticals
According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention “provides double-stranded compositions wherein each strand is modified to have a motif defined by positioning of beta-D-ribonucleosides and sugar modified nucleosides. More particularly, the … compositions comprise one strand having an alternating motif and another strand having a hemimer motif, a blockmer motif, a fully modified motif, or a positionally modified motif. At least one of the strands has complementarity to a nucleic acid target. The compositions are useful for targeting selected nucleic acid molecules and modulating the expression of one or more genes. In preferred embodiments, the compositions of the … invention hybridize to a portion of a target RNA resulting in loss of normal function of the target RNA. The … invention also provides methods for modulating gene expression.”

Title: Chemically Modified Oligonucleotides for Use in Modulating microRNA and Uses Thereof
Numbers: 20070123482
Filed: Aug. 10, 2006
Lead Inventor: Markus Stoffel, Rockefeller University (Alnylam Pharmaceuticals)
“This invention relates generally to chemically modified oligonuceotides useful for modulating expression of microRNAs and pre-microRNAs,” the patent application’s abstract states. “More particularly, the invention relates to single stranded chemically modified oligonuceotides for inhibiting microRNA and pre-microRNA expression and to methods of making and using the modified oligonucleotides.”

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