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USPTO Publishes Six RNAi-Related Patent Applications: Aug 7, 2008

Title: Lung Cancer-Related Nucleic Acids
Number: 20080182237
Filed: May 4, 2006
Lead Inventor: Isaac Bentwich, Rosetta Genomics
According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention claims “polynucleotides associated with lung cancer … [including] miRNAs, miRNA precursors, and associated nucleic acids.” The invention also claims “methods and compositions … that can be used for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of lung cancer … [as well as] methods that can be used to identify modulators of the disease-associated polynucleotides,” the abstract adds. “Also described are methods and compositions for linear amplification and labeling of a targeted nucleic acid … [which] may be used in hybridization techniques.”

Title: Methods, Compositions, and Kits for Detection of microRNA
Number: 20080182239
Filed: Jan. 26, 2007
Lead Inventor: Rebecca Mullinax, Agilent Technologies
The invention claims “methods, nucleic acids, compositions, and kits for detecting microRNA in samples,” the patent application’s abstract states. “The methods comprise designing mRNA-specific primers, adding a polyA tail to the miRNA, and using reverse transcription and amplification to detect the miRNA. The nucleic acids, compositions, and kits typically comprise some or all of the components necessary to practice the methods of the invention.”

Title: Methods and Compositions Involving microRNA
Number: 20080182245
Filed: Aug. 11, 2007
Lead Inventor: David Brown, Ambion (Asuragen)
The invention, the patent application’s abstract states, “concerns methods and compositions for isolating, enriching, and/or labeling miRNA molecules and for preparing and using arrays or other detection techniques for miRNA analysis. Moreover, the … invention concerns methods and compositions for generating miRNA profiles and employing such profiles for therapeutic, diagnostic, and prognostic applications.”

Title: Oligoribonucleotides for the Treatment of Degenerative Skin Conditions by RNA Interference
Number: 20080182808
Filed: Sept. 5, 2007
Lead Inventor: Ute Breitenbach, Beiersdorf
“The invention relates to oligoribonucleotides, which are capable of inducing breakdown of the mRNA enzymes that break down connective tissue, and to pharmaceutical and cosmetic compositions, which are provided for topical application and which contain the oligoribonucleotides,” the patent application’s abstract states. “The compositions are particularly suited for treating degenerative skin disorders.”

Title: Universal Target Sequences for siRNA Gene Silencing
Number: 20080182813
Filed: March 28, 2008
Lead Inventor: Alik Honigman, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The invention claims a method for producing siRNAs for “a specific gene having AAUAAA as a polyadenylation signal site sequence,” the patent application’s abstract states. The method involves identifying an oligonucleotide sequence roughly 15 to 40 nucleotides in length for a specific gene. The sequence, the abstract notes, comprises “the polyadenylation signal site sequence and unique non-coding sequences flanking the polyadenylation signal site.”

Title: Method and Medicament for Inhibiting the Expression of a Given Gene
Number: 20080182981
Filed: Oct. 31, 2007
Lead Inventor: Roland Kreutzer, Alnylam Europe (Alnylam Pharmaceuticals)
“The invention relates to an isolated RNA that mediates RNA interference of an mRNA to which it corresponds and a method of mediating RNA interference of mRNA of a gene in a cell or organism using the isolated RNA,” the patent application’s abstract states.

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

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