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USPTO Publishes One Patent, Four Applications Related to RNAi

Title: RNA Interference-Mediating Small RNA Molecules
Number: 7,078,196
Filed: April 27, 2004
Lead Inventor: Thomas Tuschl, Max Planck (Alnylam Pharmaceuticals)
The patent’s abstract states that “double-stranded RNA induces sequence-specific post-transcriptional gene silencing in many organisms by a process known as RNA interference. Using a Drosophila in vitro system, we demonstrate that 19-23 [nucleotide] short RNA fragments are the sequence-specific mediators of RNAi. The short-interfering RNAs are generated by an RNase III-like processing reaction from long dsRNA,” the abstract adds. “Chemically synthesized siRNA duplexes with overhanging 3' ends mediate efficient target RNA cleavage in the lysate, and the cleavage site is located near the center of the region spanned by the guiding siRNA. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the direction of dsRNA processing determines whether sense or antisense target RNA can be cleaved by the produced siRNP complex.”

Title: Influenza Therapeutic
Number: 20060160759
Filed: April 8, 2005
Lead Inventor: Jianzhu Chen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Nastech Pharmaceuticals)
The invention, the patent application’s abstract states, “provides compositions comprising an RNAi-inducing entity targeted to an influenza virus transcript and any of a variety of delivery agents. The invention further includes methods of use of the compositions for inhibiting a biological activity of an influenza virus and/or for treatment or prevention of influenza. The invention provides target portion sequences that are favorably conserved for RNAi across a plurality of influenza virus A strains isolated from human hosts and/or avian hosts and RNAi-inducing entities, e.g., siRNAs and shRNAs, targeted to such favorably conserved target portions,” it adds. “The invention provides a variety of nucleic acids comprising sequences identical or complementary to at least a portion of one or more of these favorably conserved target portion sequences. The invention further provides methods and compositions for delivering RNAi-inducing agents to an organ or tissue of a mammalian subject, e.g., to the lung. Methods of diagnosing influenza and determining the susceptibility of an influenza virus to inhibition by an RNAi-inducing agent are also provided. Transgenic animals that express an RNAi-inducing agent targeted to an influenza gene are another aspect of the invention,” the abstract notes.

Title: RNA Interference-Mediated Inhibition of Hairless Gene Expression Using Short-Interfering Nucleic Acid
Number: 20060160757
Filed: April 15, 2004
Inventor: James McSwiggen, Sirna Therapeutics
“This invention relates to compounds, compositions, and methods useful for modulating hairless gene expression using short interfering nucleic acid molecules,” according to the patent application’s abstract. “This invention also relates to compounds, compositions, and methods useful for modulating the expression and activity of other genes involved in pathways of hairless gene expression and/or activity by RNA interference using small nucleic acid molecules.”

Title: Method of Minimizing Off-Target Effects of siRNA Molecules
Number: 20060160123
Filed: Feb. 24, 2006
Inventor: Steven Quay, Nastech Pharmaceuticals
“The invention relates to a method of minimizing off-target effects of siRNA, comprising preparing double-stranded RNA having a sense strand that is homologous to a sequence of a target gene and an anti-sense strand that is complementary to said sense strand, and having at least one pyrimidine replaced by a 5'-methyl-pyrimidine, and contacting said dsRNA with a cell capable of expressing said target gene,” the patent application’s abstract states.

Title: Methods of Designing Small-Interfering RNAs, Antisense Polynucleotides, and Other Hybridizing Polynucleotides
Number: 20060160110
Filed: Nov. 29, 2005
Lead Inventor: Takayuki Mizutani, B-Bridge International
The invention relates to “methods, apparatus and computer program products for selecting siRNAs, antisense polynucleotides, and other hybridizing polynucleotides,” the patent application’s abstract states. “In particular, the invention relates to methods for selecting siRNAs, antisense polynucleotides, and other hybridizing polynucleotides that have moderate or low off-target activity.”

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