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USPTO Publishes Four RNAi-Related Patent Applications: May 25, 2006

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Title: Desmolein 4 is a Novel Gene Involved in Hair Growth

Number: 20060105977

Filed: Oct. 14, 2005

Inventor: Angela Christiano, Sirna Dermatology

"This invention provides methods and compositions for inhibiting the expression of desmoglein 4," the patent application's abstract states. "This invention also provides pharmaceutical compositions for inhibiting hair growth in a subject."


Title: RNAi Modulation of ApoB and Uses Thereof

Number: 20060105976

Filed: Sept. 26, 2005

Lead Inventor: Juergen Soutschek, Alnylam Europe

"The invention relates to compositions and methods for modulating the expression of apolipoprotein B, and more particularly to the downregulation of apolipoprotein B by chemically modified oligonucleotides," the patent application's abstract states.


Title: Screening to Optimize RNAi

Number: 20060105377'

Filed: Dec. 7, 2005

Inventor: Richard Eglen, DiscoveRx

According to the patent application's abstract, the invention comprises "methods and compositions … for screening RNAi molecules for efficiency of modulation, particularly inhibition, of expression of genes."

The abstract states that "the gene for the target protein is fused to a DNA sequence encoding a small fragment of beta-galactosidase. The fragment is competent to complex with a large fragment of beta-galactosidase to form an active enzyme. By adding to any of the fusion protein expressed the large fragment and a substrate that produces a detectable product, the amount of detectable product produced is related to the efficiency of modulation of expression by the RNAi. The method finds particular application in high throughput screening."


Title: Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancers with microRNA Located In or Near Cancer-Associated Chromosomal Features

Number: 20060105360

Filed: July 29, 2005

Lead Inventor: Carlo Croce, Ohio State University

"MicroRNA genes are highly associated with chromosomal features involved in the etiology of different cancers," the patent application's abstract states. "The perturbations in the genomic structure or chromosomal architecture of a cell caused by these cancer-associated chromosomal features can affect the expression of the miR gene(s) located in close proximity to that chromosomal feature. Evaluation of miR gene expression can therefore be used to indicate the presence of a cancer-causing chromosomal lesion in a subject.

"As the change in miR gene expression level caused by a cancer-associated chromosomal feature may also contribute to cancerigenesis, a given cancer can be treated by restoring the level of miR gene expression to normal," the abstract adds. "MicroRNA expression profiling can be used to diagnose cancer and predict whether a particular cancer is associated with an adverse prognosis. The identification of specific mutations associated with genomic regions that harbor miR genes in CLL patients provides a means for diagnosing CLL and possibly other cancers."

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