4-Patents: Questionable RNA antisense patent boosts Isis stocks
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- Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 23:04:28 +0100
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----------------------------- GENET-news -----------------------------
TITLE: Questionable RNA antisense patent boosts Isis stocks
SOURCE: PATNEWS, USA, by Gregory Aharonian
DATE: March 3, 2000
-------------------- archive: http://www.gene.ch/ --------------------
A biotech patent lawyer sent me the following news item, with his
commentary questioning the validity of a biotech patent that will be
played with in the stock market.
BioWorld Today reported that Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. saw its shares
jump nearly 16 percent Tuesday after disclosing it had received a
U.S. patent for a key enzyme related to antisense technology.
This apparently relates to US Patent No. 6,001,653, titled Human Type
2 RNAse H, a patent on purified Human RNase H1, a cellular enzyme
that degrades RNA and DNA duplexes. Isis claims the patent covers
most antisense drugs currently in development as well as the use of
antisense technology to identify gene function and validate drug
Stanley Crooke, CEO for Isis: "The patent is very broadly enabling
and solidifies our dominance in antisense, and we will aggressively
pursue the opportunities it presents us."
According to BioWorld, the patent covers the DNA sequence for Human
RNase H1 as well as vectors and cells containing this DNA sequence
and probes to hybridize to the gene or mRNA. The patent includes
claims covering methods of making any antisense drug or inhibitor
using or relying on the RNase mechanism and specific chemical classes
of antisense drugs that work by this mechanism.
[I'll spare you the self-serving puffery from the pump-and-dump
I think we have the makings of another PTO fubar story here. The
claims that are probably most important to the antisense community
(if there really is such a place) are 11 and 12:
11. A method of making an antisense oligonucleotide which is cleaved
by the human Type 2 RNase H polypeptide (SEQ ID NO: 1) comprising
synthesizing an oligonucleotide which is targeted to a selected RNA
wherein the antisense oligonucleotide, when hybridized to the
selected RNA target to from a duplex, will bind the human Type 2
RNase H polypeptide and thereby cleave the duplex.
12. A method of screening oligonucleotides to identify effective
antisense oligonucleotides for inhibition of expression of a selected
target protein comprising: (a) contacting the human Type 2 RNase H
polypeptide (SEQ ID NO: 1) with an RNA encoding the selected target
protein and an oligonucleotide complementary to at least a portion of
the RNA under conditions in which an oligonucleotide-RNA duplex is
formed; (b) detecting cleavage of the RNAof the oligonucleotide-RNA
duplex wherein cleavage is indicative of antisense efficacy.
In my opinion, these claims could be read to cover the use/
development of any antisense compound, since Type 2 RNAse is present
in all cells. BUT THIS RNAse AND ITS MECHANISM OF ACTION WERE ALREADY
KNOWN TO THE PUBLIC AS ADMITTED BY ISIS AT COLUMN 3, lines 25. Isis
only provided a cDNA clone!! See, Column 3, lines 40-42.
So, how can Isis claim the use in wild-type cells when they only
provided cDNA of a known substance?? HEL-LO PTO!!
Stay tuned. I'll bet big pharma is polishing its brass knuckles as we
Internet Patent News Service
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