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USPTO Publishes One Patent, Six Patent Applications Related to RNAi: Nov 2, 2006

Title: Inhibition of SAR-Associated Coronavirus Infection and Replication by RNA Interference
Number: 7,129,223
Filed: May 19, 2004
Lead Inventor: Hsiang-Fu Kung, University of Hong Kong
The invention “relates to therapeutic agents useful for the treatment of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in humans,” according to the patent’s abstract. “In particular, the present invention relates to RNA interference molecules useful for inhibiting the infection and replication of hSARS virus. Preferably, the RNAi molecules target the replicase region of the hSARS virus, or combinations of different sites of hSARS virus genes. The … invention further encompasses methods of using the RNAi molecules for preventing and/or treating SARS,” the abstract adds. “Vaccines and kits comprising therapeutically effective amounts of the RNAi molecules are also encompassed.”

Title: RNA Interference-Mediated Inhibition of Desmoglein Gene Expression Using Short Interfering Nucleic Acid
Number: 20060241075
Filed: Oct. 26, 2005
Inventor: James McSwiggen, Sirna Therapeutics
“This invention relates to compounds, compositions, and methods useful for modulating Desmoglein gene expression using short interfering nucleic acid molecules,” the patent application’s abstract states. “This invention also relates to compounds, compositions, and methods useful for modulating the expression and activity of other genes involved in pathways of Desmoglein gene expression and/or activity by RNA interference using small nucleic acid molecules.”

Title: Oligomeric Compounds for Use in Gene Modulation
Number: 20060241072
Filed: June 18, 2004 PCT Filed: June 18, 2004
Inventor: Brenda Baker, Isis Pharmaceuticals
The invention covers “modified oligomeric compounds and compositions of oligomeric compounds for use in the RNA interference pathway of gene modulation,” the patent application’s abstract states. “The modified oligomeric compounds include siRNA and asRNA having at least one affinity modification. The present invention also provides methods for modulating gene expression using the modified oligomeric compounds and compositions of oligomeric compounds.”

Title: Use of RNA Interference for the Creation of Lineage Specific ES and Other Undifferentiated Cells and Production of Differentiated Cells In Vitro by Co-Culture
Number: 20060240556
Filed: June 22, 2006
Inventor: Jose Cibelli, Advanced Cell Technology
According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention covers “methods for making human ES cells and human differentiated cells and tissues for transplantation … whereby the cells and tissues are created following somatic cell nuclear transfer. The nuclear transfer donor is genetically modified prior to nuclear transfer such that cells of at least one developmental lineage are de-differentiated, i.e., unable to develop, thereby resolving the ethical dilemmas involved in reprogramming somatic cells back to the embryonic stage. The method concomitantly directs differentiation such that the desired cells and tissues may be more readily isolated.”

Title: Lipid Nanoparticle-Based Compositions and Methods for the Delivery of Biologically Active Molecules
Number: 20060240554
Filed: Feb. 14, 2006
Lead Inventor: Tongqian Chen, Sirna Therapeutics
The invention “relates to novel cationic lipids, transfection agents, microparticles, nanoparticles, and short interfering nucleic acid molecules,” the patent application’s abstract states. “The invention also features compositions, and methods of use for the study, diagnosis, and treatment of traits, diseases, and conditions that respond to the modulation of gene expression and/or activity in a subject or organism. Specifically, the invention relates to novel cationic lipids, microparticles, nanoparticles, and transfection agents that effectively transfect or deliver biologically active molecules, such as … dsRNA … and small nucleic acid molecules, such as short interfering nucleic acid … to relevant cells and/or tissues, such as in a subject or organism,” the abstract adds. “Such novel cationic lipids, microparticles, nanoparticles, and transfection agents are useful, for example, in providing compositions to prevent, inhibit, or treat diseases, conditions, or traits in a cell, subject, or organism. The compositions described herein are generally referred to as formulated molecular compositions or lipid nanoparticles.”

Title: Lipid Encapsulated Interfering RNA
Number: 20060240093
Filed: June 27, 2006
Lead Inventor: Ian MacLachlan, Protiva Biotherapeutics
The invention “provides compositions and methods for silencing gene expression by delivering nucleic acid-lipid particles comprising a siRNA molecule to a cell,” the patent application’s abstract states.

Title: Vectors for Regulating Gene Expression
Number: 20060239971
Filed: Feb. 23, 2004 PCT Filed: Feb. 23, 2004
Inventor: Shyam Mohapatra, University of South Florida
According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention “pertains to vectors for regulating gene expression having at least one gene expressing cassette and at least one gene suppressing cassette, wherein the gene expression cassette encodes a polypeptide of interest, and wherein the gene suppressing cassette encodes a short interfering RNA molecule that reduces expression of a target gene by RNA interference.” The invention “further includes vectors that contain suppressor cassettes in conjunction with cassettes upregulating gene expression regulated by either a constitutive promoter, such as a general CMV promoter, or a tissue specific promoter. [It] further includes vectors that contain Dengue virus gene suppression cassettes,” the abstract adds, as well as “pharmaceutical compositions containing such vectors, methods of modulating the expression of genes in a host using such vectors, and method of producing such vectors.”

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.