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Alnylam Receives Notice of Allowance from the USPTO

21-Aug-2014 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 3941
CAMBRIDGE, Mass - Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc., a leading RNAi therapeutics company, announced today in a press release that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a Notice of Allowance for claims in the Tuschl et al. patent application 13/725,262. The '262 patent application includes newly allowed claims directed to compositions that mediate RNAi, and comprising a double-stranded molecule with up to 25 base pairs and at least one nucleotide analogue. Specifically, the newly allowed patent application broadly covers small interfering RNA ("siRNA") molecules of various designs, including so-called "dicer substrate" RNAi triggers (Amarzguioui et al., Nat Protoc. 2006;1(2):508-17; Rose et al., Nucleic Acids Res. 2005 Jul 26;33(13):4140-56) and double-stranded, RNAi-mediating molecules containing moieties that include "unlocked nucleobase analogs" ("UNA") amongst other naturally or non-naturally occurring nucleotide analogues.
 
"This notice of allowance for the Tuschl '262 patent application recognizes the groundbreaking and fundamental work of Tom Tuschl and colleagues regarding RNAi trigger molecules. Specifically, the newly allowed claims broadly cover double-stranded molecules with up to 25 base pairs that mediate RNAi, and thus include diverse siRNA trigger approaches, such as dicer substrates or those utilizing, for example, UNA modifications," said Laurence Reid, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer of Alnylam. "We aim to continue to advance claims from the Tuschl patent family and from other Alnylam-held patent families. Indeed, we are committed to protecting the innovative discoveries of our founders, advisors, and employees that laid the cornerstone for current and future RNAi therapeutics."
 
The allowed claims of the Tuschl '262 patent application, as well as other granted, Alnylam-owned or -licensed patents, are provided on the company's website, and in aggregate broadly cover compositions, methods, and uses of RNAi therapeutics. Alnylam's intellectual property (IP) estate also includes patents that broadly cover delivery of RNAi therapeutics, such as Alnylam's GalNAc-siRNA conjugate technology, and siRNAs directed toward a wide range of disease targets.
 
Alnylam will be providing an update on their ALN-AAT program, an RNAi therapeutic targeting alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) for the treatment of liver disease associated with AAT deficiency, in an online RNAi Roundtable to be held today at 12:30 p.m. ET and can be accessed by clicking here.
 
RNAi (RNA interference) is a revolution in biology, representing a breakthrough in understanding how genes are turned on and off in cells, and a completely new approach to drug discovery and development. Its discovery has been heralded as "a major scientific breakthrough that happens once every decade or so," and represents one of the most promising and rapidly advancing frontiers in biology and drug discovery today which was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. RNAi is a natural process of gene silencing that occurs in organisms ranging from plants to mammals. By harnessing the natural biological process of RNAi occurring in our cells, the creation of a major new class of medicines, known as RNAi therapeutics, is on the horizon. Small interfering RNA (siRNA), the molecules that mediate RNAi and comprise Alnylam's RNAi therapeutic platform, target the cause of diseases by potently silencing specific mRNAs, thereby preventing disease-causing proteins from being made. RNAi therapeutics have the potential to treat disease and help patients in a fundamentally new way
 
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