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USPTO Publishes Six RNAi-Related Patent Applications: Aug 3, 2006

Title: Methods to Trigger RNA Interference
Number: 20060174380
Filed: Jan. 6, 2006
Lead Inventor: James Carrington, University of Oregon
The patent application, its abstract states, covers “a method to generate siRNAs in vivo, [as well as] constructs and compositions useful in the method. The method does not depend on the use of DNA or synthetic constructs that contain inverted duplications or dual promoters so as to form perfect or largely double-stranded RNA. Rather, the method depends on constructs that yield single-stranded RNA transcripts, and exploits endogenous or in vivo-produced miRNAs or siRNAs to initiate production of siRNAs,” the abstract adds. “The miRNAs or siRNAs guide cleavage of the transcript and set the register for production of siRNAs … encoded adjacent to the initiation cleavage site within the construct. The method results in specific formation of siRNAs of predictable size and register (phase) relative to the initiation cleavage site. The method can be used to produce specific siRNAs in vivo for inactivation or suppression of one or more target genes or other entities, such as pathogens.”

Title: RNAi-Mediated Inhibition of Ocular Targets
Number: 20060172965
Filed: Feb. 1, 2006
Lead Inventor: Allan Shepard, Alcon
The patent application, its abstract states, covers the use of RNA interference “for inhibition of ocular hypertension target mRNA expression for lowering elevated intraocular pressure in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Ocular hypertension targets include carbonic anhydrase II, IV, and XII; .beta.1- and .beta.2 adrenergic receptors; acetylcholinesterase; Na.sup.+/K.sup.+-ATPase; and Na--K-2Cl cotransporter. Ocular hypertension is treated by administering interfering RNAs.”

Title: RNAi Inhibition of Serum Amyloid A for Treatment of Glaucoma
Number: 20060172961
Filed: Dec. 19, 2005
Lead Inventor: Abbot Clark, Alcon
The patent application, its abstract states, covers RNA interference “for inhibition of serum amyloid A mRNA expression in glaucomas involving SAA expression.”

Title: Selected RNA Motifs to Include Cell Death and/or Apoptosis
Number: 20060172959
Filed: March 25, 2004 PCT Filed: March 25, 2004
Lead Inventor: Dan Smith, Alliance Pharmaceuticals
The invention is “directed to the use of dsRNA and/or ssRNA for the purpose of inducing apoptosis or cell death in proliferating cells,” the patent application’s abstract states. “Specifically, low molecular weight and high molecular weight dsRNA and ssRNA are shown to induce apoptosis and/or cell death in proliferating cells, to arrest proliferation of transformed cells or tumor cells and to cause rapid induction of the cytokine TNF-alpha and/or also induce production of IL-12 which directs a Th-1 response.”

Title: Thio-siRNA Aptamers
Number: 20060172925
Filed: Oct. 19, 2004
Lead Inventor: David Gorenstein, University of Texas
The invention, the patent application’s abstract states, “includes thioaptamers that are partially thio-modified, methods and compositions for the isolation, selection, improvement, characterization and use of RNA and DNA thioaptamers for gene silencing, including degradative and non-degradative interference with translation.”

Title: Protecting Cell Therapy for Neurological Disorders Including Parkinson’s Disease
Number: 20060171935
Filed: Jan. 31, 2005
Lead Inventor: Asa Abeliovich, Columbia University
According to the patent application’s abstract, the invention “provides compositions and methods for enhancing and improving cell therapies for neurological disorders including Parkinson's disease. Specifically, the present invention provides a cell or cells modified by viral vector compositions that allow for the over-expression and RNAi-mediated knockdown of genes in vitro and in vivo. The … invention further provides cell therapy methods for treating or preventing neurodegeneration in a subject, and for protecting neurons from damage in the context of neurodegenerative disorders using the modified cells,” the abstract states. “Additionally, the present invention provides methods for purification and identification of mature dopamine neurons for cell therapy using fluorescent compounds including JHC1-64.”

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