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USPTO Publishes Four RNAi-Related Patent Applications: Oct 12, 2006


Title: Highly Functional Short Hairpin RNA         
Number: 20060223777
Filed: March 28, 2006
Lead Inventor: Annaleen Vermeulen, Dharmacon
The invention “provides improved hairpin and fractured hairpin constructs for use in gene silencing through the RNA interference pathway,” the patent application’s abstract states. “An exemplary short hairpin polynucleotide for use in gene silencing can include a polynucleotide having from about 42 nucleotides to about 106 nucleotides configured for being processed by Dicer. The polynucleotide can include a first region having from about 19 to about 35 nucleotides, a loop region coupled to the first region, the loop region having from about 4 to about 30 nucleotides, and a second region having from about 19 to about 35 nucleotides and having at least about 80 percent complementarity to the first region,” the abstract adds. “Optionally, one of the first region or second region can have an overhang having less than about 6 nucleotides. Also, the short hairpin can be formed of a plurality of polynucleotides that cooperate to form a hairpin structure.”

Title: RNAi-Mediated Inhibition of Frizzled Related Protein-1 for Treatment of Glaucoma         
Number: 20060223773
Filed: March 10, 2006
Lead Inventor: Abbot Clark, Alcon
According to the patent application’s abstract, “RNA interference is provided for inhibition of Frizzled Related Protein-1 mRNA expression, in particular, for treating patients having glaucoma or at risk of developing glaucoma.”

Title: iRNA Agents Targeting VEGF         
Number: 20060223770
Filed: Jan. 25, 2006
Lead Inventor: Antonin De Fougerolles, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
“The features of the present invention relate to compounds, compositions and methods useful for modulating the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor, such as by the mechanism of RNA interference,” the patent application’s abstract states. “The compounds and compositions include iRNA agents that can be unmodified or chemically-modified.”

Title: Regulation of Gene Expression         
Number: 20060223768
Filed: March 17, 2004 PCT Filed: March 17, 2004
Inventor: Jo Milner, University of York
The invention “relates to a method of regulating apoptosis,” the patent application’s abstract states. “The method comprises the step of introducing into a cell an RNA construct comprising a nucleotide sequence which is homologous to mRNA within said cell. The mRNA within the cell includes genetic information of a gene element involved in the regulation of apoptosis. The invention also relates to an siRNA construct having a nucleotide sequence which is homologous to mRNA transcribed from a gene element involved in the regulation of apoptosis.”

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