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USPTO Publishes Four RNAi-Related Patent Applications: Mar 15, 2007

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Title: Oligonucleotides Comprising a Ligand Tethered to a Modified or Non-Natural Nucleobase
 
Number: 20070054279
 
Filed: Aug. 4, 2005
 
Lead Inventor: Muthiah Manoharan, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
 
“One aspect of the … invention relates to a double-stranded oligonucleotide comprising at least one ligand tethered to an altered or non-natural nucleobase,” the patent application’s abstract states. “In certain embodiments, the non-natural nucleobase is difluorotolyl, nitropyrrolyl, or nitroimidazolyl. In certain embodiments, the ligand is a steroid or aromatic compound. In certain embodiments, only one of the two oligonucleotide strands comprising the double-stranded oligonucleotide contains a ligand tethered to an altered or non-natural nucleobase. In certain embodiments, both of the oligonucleotide strands comprising the double-stranded oligonucleotide independently contain a ligand tethered to an altered or non-natural nucleobase. In certain embodiments, the oligonucleotide strands comprise at least one modified sugar moiety,” the abstract states.
 
“Another aspect of the … invention relates to a single-stranded oligonucleotide comprising at least one ligand tethered to an altered or non-natural nucleobase,” according to the abstract. “In certain embodiments, the non-natural nucleobase is difluorotolyl, nitropyrrolyl, or nitroimidazolyl. In certain embodiments, the ligand is a steroid or aromatic compound. In certain embodiments, the ribose sugar moiety that occurs naturally in nucleosides is replaced with a hexose sugar, polycyclic heteroalkyl ring, or cyclohexenyl group. In certain embodiments, at least one phosphate linkage in the oligonucleotide has been replaced with a phosphorothioate linkage.”
 

 
Title: Method for Identifying Medically Important Cell Populations Using microRNA as Tissue-Specific Biomarkers
 
Number: 20070054287
 
Filed: May 31, 2006
 
Inventor: Will Bloch, Applera
 
The invention comprises “methods for diagnosing biological conditions, including cancer,” according to the patent application’s abstract. “In some embodiments, a test sample is collected from a subject such as a clinical patient, wherein the test sample comprises background tissue and may or may not contain cells from a tissue of interest. Observation of a target miRNA normally present in a tissue of interest, but collected in an anatomical location ectopic to the tissue of interest, can be indicative of a biological condition. The [invention] further provides exponential amplification techniques applicable to performing these analyses.”
 

 
Title: Antisense Modulation of Superoxide Dismutase-1, Soluble Expression
 
Number: 20070054869
 
Filed: June 7, 2006
 
Lead Inventor: Frank Bennett, Isis Pharmaceuticals
 
The patent application, according to its abstract, claims “antisense compounds, compositions and methods … for modulating the expression of superoxide dismutase 1, soluble. The compositions comprise antisense compounds, particularly antisense oligonucleotides, targeted to nucleic acids encoding superoxide dismutase 1, soluble.”
Also claimed are “methods of using these compounds for modulation of superoxide dismutase 1, soluble expression and for treatment of diseases associated with expression of superoxide dismutase 1, soluble,” the abstract adds.
 

 
Title: Regulatable or Conditional Expression Systems
 
Number: 20070054872
 
Filed: Aug. 24, 2006
 
Lead Inventor: Thomas Reppen, Mirus Bio
 
“Endogenous gene regulation mechanisms together with microRNAs expressed in many organisms can be used to provide regulated or conditional expression of transgenes by placing an appropriate sequence, a microRNA binding site, within the transcribed gene,” the patent application’s abstract states. “This microRNA-dependent transcription regulation can be further regulated using microRNA inhibitors.”

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