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USPTO Publishes One Patent, Six Patent Applications Related to RNAi: Oct 2, 2008

Title: Inhibition of SARS-Associated Coronavirus Infection and Replication by RNA Interference
Number: 7,429,656
Filed: July 14, 2006
Lead Inventor: Hsiang-Fu Kung, University of Hong Kong
According to the patent’s abstract, the invention “relates to therapeutic agents useful for the treatment of severe acute respiratory syndrome in humans. In particular, the … 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 abstract adds that the invention “further encompasses methods of using the RNAi molecules for preventing and/or treating SARS. Vaccines and kits comprising therapeutically effective amounts of the RNAi molecules are also encompassed.”

Title: RNAi Modulation of MLL-AF4 and Uses Thereof
Number: 20080233584
Filed: Feb. 27, 2008
Lead Inventor: Olaf Heidenreich, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
“The invention relates to compositions and methods for modulating the expression of the MLL-AF4 fusion gene, and more particularly to the downregulation of MLL-AF4 by chemically modified oligonucleotides,” the patent application’s abstract states.

Title: Materials and Methods for Treatment of Allergic Disease
Number: 20080234212
Filed: Feb. 25, 2005 PCT Filed: Feb. 25, 2005
Lead Inventor: William Walker, Allerna Therapeutics
The patent application, its abstract states, claims “siRNA molecules … [that] target the transcription factor STAT6 and repress the expression of STAT6 mRNA, STAT6 protein, and STAT6 function in lung cells. The use of STAT6 specific siRNA molecules in the treatment of allergic diseases of the respiratory tract such as asthma and rhinitis is disclosed.”

Title: Inhibitor Nucleic Acids
Number: 20080234217
Filed: Jan. 26, 2006 PCT Filed: Jan. 26, 2006
Inventor: Mark Davis, California Institute of Technology (Calando Pharmaceuticals)
The invention, according to the patent application’s abstract, claims “methods and compositions for attenuating expression of a target gene in vivo. In general, the method includes administering RNAi constructs such as small-interfering RNAs that are targeted to particular mRNA sequences, or nucleic acid material that can produce siRNAs in a cell, in an amount sufficient to attenuate expression of a target gene by an RNA interference mechanism. In particular, the RNAi constructs may include one or more modifications to improve serum stability, cellular uptake and/or to avoid non-specific effect,” the abstract adds. “In certain embodiments, the RNAi constructs contain an aptamer portion. The aptamer may bind to human serum albumin to improve serum half life. The aptamer may also bind to a cell surface protein that improves uptake of the construct.”

Title: siRNA for Inhibiting IL-6 Expression and Composition Containing Them
Number: 20080234218
Filed: May 9, 2006 PCT Filed: May 9, 2006    
Lead Inventor: Seong-Hyang Sohn, Ajou University
According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention comprises “a double-strand siRNA capable of suppressing interleukin-6 expression, and a pharmaceutical composition containing the same. The siRNA of the … invention and the pharmaceutical composition containing the same may be useful to treat inflammatory diseases, autoimmune diseases, neoplasmic disease, and central nervous system diseases, which are all associated with the over-expressed IL-6 level, by lowering an IL-6 level.”

Title: Methods and Compositions for Reducing Viral Genome Amounts in a Small Target Stem Cell
Number: 20080234220
Filed: Dec. 10, 2007    
Lead Inventor: Peter Sarnow, Stanford University
The invention, the patent application’s abstract states, comprises “methods and compositions for reducing viral genome amounts in a target cell. ... In the subject methods, the activity of a miRNA is inhibited in a manner sufficient to reduce the amount of viral genome in the target cell, e.g., by introducing a miRNA inhibitory agent in the target cell. Also provided are pharmaceutical compositions, kits, and systems for use in practicing the subject methods.”
The abstract adds that the invention “finds use in a variety of applications, including the treatment of subjects suffering from a viral-mediated disease condition,” for example, a hepatitis C-mediated disease condition.

Title: Method of Designing siRNAs for Gene Silencing
Number: 20080234941
Filed: Oct. 27, 2004 PCT Filed: Oct. 27, 2004    
Lead Inventor: Aimee Jackson, Rosetta Inpharmatics (Merck)

The invention, the patent application’s abstract states, “provides a method for identifying siRNA target motifs in a transcript using a position-specific score matrix approach ... [as well as] a method for identifying off-target genes of an siRNA using a position-specific score matrix approach. The invention further provides a method for designing siRNAs with higher silencing efficacy and specificity … [and] a library of siRNAs comprising siRNAs with high silencing efficacy and specificity.”

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