The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) havel issued Sirna Therapeutics, Inc. U.S. Patent No. 7,022,828. This is the first siRNA target patent issued in the United States and sets an important precedent for Sirna's entire target patent portfolio.
The patent covers any chemically modified siRNA targeting I Kappa B kinase-gamma (IKK-gamma). Importantly, the claims of the patent are not limited to a specific siRNA sequence but cover any siRNA sequence used against the gene.
In addition, the claims of this patent are not limited to a specific type of chemical modification or structure but cover any chemical modification that can be made to the siRNA.
The patent covers blunt-ended siRNAs as well as those with one or more nucleotide overhangs. IKK-gamma is an activator of the NF-kappaB pathway (NF-kb), an important mediator in a host of diseases, such as asthma, arthritis, cancer, chronic inflammation, neurodegenerative diseases and heart disease.
"We are gratified that the US Patent Office has issued the first broad siRNA target patent to Sirna," said Bharat Chowrira, Ph.D., Vice President, Legal Affairs and Chief Patent Counsel. "We have put tremendous effort into the creation of a fully enabling target patent portfolio.
The formation of this target patent estate required the design, synthesis and evaluation of hundreds of siRNAs per target. The issuance of this patent provides further validation of our patent strategy and gives us confidence that our other patents covering over 250 targets will issue in a similar fashion."
Sirna is the first company to file enabling patents for over 250 important mammalian disease targets including: alpha-synuclein (Parkinson's disease), BACE (Alzheimer's disease), HBV (hepatitis B), HCV (hepatitis C), HD (Huntington's disease), HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), HR (hairless gene), IL-4, IL-13, IL-4 Receptors, IL-13 Receptors (asthma, respiratory diseases), influenza virus (flu virus), NOGO & NOGO Receptors (spinal cord injury), p38 (inflammation), PTP-1B (diabetes, obesity), retinoblastoma 1 (hearing loss), RSV (reparatory syncytial virus) and VEGF (angiogenesis, AMD, diabetic retinopathy, cancer, kidney disease).
"The issuance of this patent changes the IP landscape in the field of RNAi," stated Howard W. Robin, President and CEO of Sirna Therapeutics. "We believe that the combination of our target patents with our patents in siRNA design, chemistry, synthesis, and manufacturing gives Sirna Therapeutics a dominant intellectual property estate in the field of RNAi-based therapeutics."