samedi 8 août 2020

CSIRO Maintains Key Patent for shRNA Gene Silencing Technology After European Opposition

Par Rédaction , dans Communiqués , le 18 novembre 2015

Wednesday, November 18th 2015 at 1:00pm UTC

CANBERRA, Australia–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Australia’s leading science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and
Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), has successfully defended
another key patent for RNA interference (RNAi) gene silencing technology
after oppositions by multiple opponents in Europe.

RNAi technology is a powerful method that is widely used as a research
tool to test the function of genes. The technology is being developed
for a range of targeted therapies in humans and animals, and
agricultural applications for innovative plant products. Human
therapeutic applications under development using RNAi include treatment
of viral diseases such as hepatitis and other diseases including
cancers. Animal applications include the selection of production traits
in livestock and the protection against diseases such as influenza in

The granted European patent (EP1650306), also known as the Wang patent,
was maintained in an amended form as confirmed in a decision which
issued recently from the European Patent Office (EPO). The patent had
been opposed by two parties, BASF and Strawman Limited. The maintained
claims of the patent are directed to the use of short hairpin RNA
molecules which are produced from genetic constructs, also known as
shRNA technology, and has particular relevance to use in mammalian
cells. CSIRO also holds two similar patents in the United States, patent
numbers 8,183,217 and 8,334,374.

The European decision follows the successful defence of another
foundational RNAi patent in Europe (EP1068311, Waterhouse et al) by
CSIRO earlier this year after opposition by four opponents. The EPO
found that the patented DNA-delivered hairpin RNA technology was novel
and inventive. That decision has been appealed by three of the
opponents. The Waterhouse patent covers use of the technology in both
plants and animals, as do the Wang patents.

The European patents are a key part of CSIRO’s extensive RNAi portfolio
of 78 granted patents worldwide, stemming from the pioneering work of
CSIRO scientists led by Dr Peter Waterhouse who first developed and
tested hairpin RNA in 1997. The patent portfolio has been licensed to
more than 35 licensees including Bayer CropScience who have exclusive
rights to certain plant species. CSIRO has also made available a series
of vectors for hairpin RNA in plants and distributed these free of
charge to more than 4000 academic and not-for-profit research
organisations and universities.

Since its first use at CSIRO, hairpin RNA technology has revolutionised
the search for genes responsible for valuable traits in many crop
species. The technology has also been developed for use in animals,
particularly in mammals where shorter RNAi molecules (shRNA) are
commonly used. The maintained patents in Europe and the corresponding
patents in the US cover applications in both plants and animals.

CSIRO makes its patented RNAi technologies available for licensing for
research use and for the development of commercial products in both
plants and animals.

Read more about CSIRO’s RNAi technology:


For more information to discuss possible research collaborations
or licensing:
CSIRO, Sydney, Australia
Rachel Fitzgerald, +61
477 314 871
Communications Manager

Source: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

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