Alnylam Announces Grant of new Patent Covering RNAi Therapeutics in the United Kingdom
News Jan 29, 2008
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that the United Kingdom Patent Office has granted a patent (UK 2417727 or “’727 patent”) for the Woppman et al. patent series, entitled “Double-stranded ribonucleic acid with increased effectiveness in an organism.”
The newly granted patent includes 32 claims broadly covering compositions and methods, including pharmaceutical compositions, for small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), the molecules that mediate RNAi.
The claims cover siRNA molecules of any length that contain “overhang” and “blunt end” design features, including siRNAs containing chemical modifications and certain novel motifs.
“Our intellectual property estate for RNAi therapeutics continues to grow substantially as evidenced by this new patent grant, the first in a distinct patent series that describes important design features for RNAi therapeutics. With this progress, we are extending the scope of our comprehensive ‘first-mover’ consolidation of early filed RNAi fundamental patents and patent applications,” said Barry Greene, President and Chief Operating Officer of Alnylam.
“We expect that many additional patents owned or licensed exclusively to Alnylam will be awarded this year and in the years to come, broadening the sphere of our patent portfolio for siRNAs in markets across the world,” Greene added.
The claims for the ’727 patent cover compositions and methods for siRNAs, including, in general terms:
- a double-stranded RNA of any length having effectiveness in inhibiting a target gene by RNAi;
- with “overhang” and “blunt-end” design features and certain nucleotide pair motifs;
- with or without chemical modifications, with no limitations as to the number of such modifications;
- including pharmaceutical compositions of the claimed siRNAs for inhibiting the expression of a target gene by means of RNAi;
- and/or, methods for the selection of such an siRNA molecule or methods for inhibiting the expression of a target gene in a cell.
The claims of the Woppman et al. ’727 patent are provided on the company’s website, together with claims from other Alnylam owned or licensed patents.
Back in 2009, researchers identified a herd of Awassi sheep suffering from "day blindness". As that term implies, these sheep were blind during the day (in bright light) but could see at night, in low-light conditions. After identifying the genetic basis of this blindness, researchers have now successfully used gene therapy to restore their daytime vision.READ MORE