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USPTO Publishes One Patent, Seven Patent Applications Related to RNAi: Jun 19, 2008

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Editor’s Note: This week’s IP Update includes patent and patent applications previously published but not included in last week’s issue of RNAi News due to technical difficulties.
 
Title: microRNA Vectors
 
Number: 7,387,896
 
Filed: June 21, 2005
 
Inventor: David Loyd Turner, University of Michigan
 
The invention, the patent’s abstract states, “relates to gene silencing, and in particular, to compositions of microRNA sequences and vectors and to methods of synthesizing such in vitro and in vivo, and to methods of using such to regulate gene expression.”
 

 
Title: siRNA Targeting Myeloid Cell Leukemia Sequence 1
 
Number: 20080139798
 
Filed: Sept. 20, 2007
 
Inventor: Anastasia Khvorova, Dharmacon (Thermo Fisher Scientific)
 
“Efficient sequence-specific gene silencing of myeloid cell leukemia sequence 1 is possible through the use of siRNA technology,” the patent application’s abstract states. “By selecting particular siRNAs directed to myeloid cell leukemia sequence 1 by rational design, one can maximize the generation of an effective gene-silencing reagent, as well as methods for silencing genes.”
 

 
Title: siRNA Targeting Synuclein Alpha
 
Number: 20080139799
 
Filed: July 25, 2007
 
Inventor: Anastasia Khvorova, Dharmacon (Thermo Fisher Scientific)
 
According to the patent application’s abstract, “efficient sequence-specific gene silencing is possible through the use of siRNA technology. By selecting particular siRNAs by rational design, one can maximize the generation of an effective gene-silencing reagent, as well as methods for silencing genes. Methods, compositions, and kits generated through rational design of siRNAs are disclosed including those directed to SNCA-1.”
 

 
Title: Oligonucleotide Non-Viral Delivery Systems
 
Number: 20080131371
 
Filed: Sept. 14, 2007
 
Inventor: Per Artur Sven Artursson, FMC Biopolymer
 
According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention comprises “low molecular-weight chitosan oligomers [that can] self-assemble siRNA into nanosized particles, provide protection against enzymatic degradation, and mediate gene silencing that is stable over a long period of time in vitro. The control of structural variables in formulating complexes of siRNA with low molecular weight chitosans provides an efficient alternative delivery system for siRNA in vitro and in vivo.”
 

 
Title: Method for Efficient Post-Transcriptional Gene Silencing Using Intrinsic Direct Repeat Sequences and Utilization Thereof in Functional Genomics
 
Number: 20080131874
 
Filed: June 24, 2004
 
Inventor: Amitava Mitra, University of Nebraska
 
“It is well-documented that transgenes with inverted repeats can efficiently trigger post-transcriptional gene silencing, presumably via a double stranded RNA induced by complementary sequences in their transcripts,” the patent application’s abstract states. “We show here that transgenes with intrinsic direct repeats can also induce PTGS at a very high frequency [of between 80 and 100 percent]. A transgene with three or four repeats induced PTGS in almost 100 [percent] of the primary transformants, regardless of whether a strong … or a relatively weak … promoter was used.”
 
The abstract adds that “the PTGS induced by three or four repeats is consistently inherited in subsequent generations and can inactivate homologous genes. …Based on the high frequency and consistent heritability, we propose that the intrinsic direct repeat within a transgene may act as a primary determinant of PTGS referred to as direct repeat-induced PTGS. Silencing occurred in all five genes, in this and two previous reports, suggesting that driPTGS might be a universal gene-silencing mechanism both in dicotyledonous tobacco plants and monocotyledonous rice cells. In addition, driPTGS may help dissect the gene silencing mechanism and generate silenced phenotypes useful for research and plant biotechnology products.”
 

 
Title: Target-Specific Short Interfering RNA and Methods of Use Thereof
 
Number: 20080131940
 
Filed: June 22, 2005 PCT Filed: June 22, 2005
 
Inventor: Robert Chiu, UCLA School of Dentistry
 
According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention “provides nucleic acids that include a nucleotide sequence that encodes an siRNA [and is] is operably linked to a target cell-specific promoter RNA polymerase II promoter. The … invention further provides vectors, including expression vectors, which include a subject nucleic acid, and host cells that harbor a subject nucleic acid or a subject expression vector.”
 
The invention further provides methods of modulating expression of a gene in a target cell-specific manner, primarily by the methods introducing an expression vector into a cell, it adds.
 

 
Title: RNA Sequence-Specific Mediators of RNA Interference
 
Number: 20080132461
 
Filed: July 19, 2007
 
Inventor: Thomas Tuschl, Max Planck Institute
 
The invention, the patent application’s abstract states, relates to “a Drosophila in vitro system [that] was used to demonstrate that dsRNA is processed to RNA segments 21-23 nucleotides in length. Furthermore, when these 21-23 [nucleotide] fragments are purified and added back to Drosophila extracts, they mediate RNA interference in the absence of long dsRNA. Thus, these 21-23 [nucleotide] fragments are the sequence-specific mediators of RNA degradation.”
The abstract adds that “a molecular signal, which may be their specific length, must be present in these 21-23 [nucleotide] fragments to recruit cellular factors involved in RNAi. This … invention encompasses these 21-23 [nucleotide] fragments and their use for specifically inactivating gene function. The use of these fragments, or chemically synthesized oligonucleotides of the same or similar nature, enables the targeting of specific mRNAs for degradation in mammalian cells, where the use of long dsRNAs to elicit RNAi is usually not practical, presumably because of the deleterious effects of the interferon response. This specific targeting of a particular gene function is useful in functional genomic and therapeutic applications.”
 

 
Title: siRNA Targeting Kinase Insert Domain Receptor
 
Number: 20080132691
 
Filed: Oct. 26, 2007
 
Inventor: Anastasia Khvorova, Dharmacon (Thermo Fisher Scientific)
 
“Efficient sequence-specific gene silencing is possible through the use of siRNA technology,” the patent application’s abstract states. “By selecting particular siRNAs by rational design, one can maximize the generation of an effective gene-silencing reagent, as well as methods for silencing genes. Methods, compositions, and kits generated through rational design of siRNAs are disclosed including those directed to nucleotide sequences for KDR.”

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