Officials of Kylin Therapeutics Inc., a leading RNAi company, announced that they have received a notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its first U.S. patent application.
This newly allowed patent, exclusively licensed to Kylin by the Purdue Research Foundation, broadly covers a number of functionalities for Kylin's lead technology platform "pRNA", or "packaging RNA." These include: receptor binding, ribozyme activity and RNA-interference.
"We are excited that the patent office recognizes pRNA as an entirely unique platform in this crowded intellectual property space," said J. Eric Davis, J.D., president and CEO of Kylin Therapeutics Inc.
Along with its already-granted European counterparts, Kylin officials believe that this seminal patent family will represent rare "new ground" in the field of RNAi and therapeutic RNA. Kylin has several other applications in the pipeline and continues to file in this area.
"The unexpected, pharmacologically-robust nature of the pRNA platform continues to allow us to claim more ground in areas such as RNAi and tissue targeting," says Joseph Trebley, Ph.D., vice president of research and development.
Kylin's pRNA intellectual property is based upon a family of patents around the discoveries of Peixuan Guo, Ph.D., and others at Kylin, on the design and creation of novel, therapeutically relevant RNA molecules. Guo made the discovery while at Purdue University.
These molecules can be engineered as RNA multiplexes that function as RNAi-inducing DICER substrates and tissue targeting modalities, and they can be used systemically and discretely without any additional delivery components. Kylin researchers have continued and expanded upon the work of Guo, demonstrating improved efficacy and pharmacokinetics of pRNA molecules in several relevant in vivo model systems, primarily in cancer.
"The pRNA patents are a result of Kylin's researchers and Guo's visionary efforts to borrow from nature and create novel, therapeutically-superior RNA molecules," said Davis. "We believe this is an entirely new intellectual property landscape in the field of RNA-based therapeutics, one that is distinct and protectable from other patents in the RNAi and antisense fields."
Following a notice of allowance, the process resulting in final issuance of a patent involves a number of administrative steps that are typically completed in less than a year.