Recent Patents on Biotechnology (v.11, #2)

Meet Our Editorial Board Member: by Jorge Barros-Velazquez (75-75).

Biotechnological Patents Applications of the Deuterium Oxide in Human Health by Reysla M. da S. Mariano, Wendell C. Bila, Maria Jaciara F. Trindade, Joel A. Lamounier, Alexsandro S. Galdino (76-84).
Background: Deuterium oxide is a molecule that has been used for decades in several studies related to human health. Currently, studies on D2O have mobilized a 'Race for Patenting' worldwide. Several patents have been registered from biomedical and technological studies of D2O showing the potential of this stable isotope in industry and health care ecosystems.
Methods: Most of the patents related to the applications of the deuterium oxide in human health have been summarized in this review. The following patents databases were consulted: European Patent Office (Espacenet), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the United States Latin America Patents (LATIPAT), Patent scope -Search International and National Patent Collections (WIPO), Google Patents and Free Patents Online.
Results: With this review, the information was collected on recent publications including 22 patents related to deuterium oxide and its applications in different areas.
Conclusion: This review showed that deuterium oxide is a promising component in different areas, including biotechnology, chemistry and medicine. In addition, the knowledge of this compound was covered, reinforcing its importance in the field of biotechnology and human health.

Background: Resveratrol, taxol, podophyllotoxin, withanolides and their derivatives find applications in anti-cancer therapy. They are plant-derived compounds whose chemical structures and synthesis limit their natural availability and restrict a large-scale industrial production. Hence, their production by various biotechnological approaches may hold promise for a continuous and reliable mode of supply.
Objective: We review process and product patents in this regard.
Methods: Accordingly, we provide a general outline to search the freely accessible WIPO, EPO, USPTO and Cambia databases with several keywords and patent codes. We have tabulated both granted and filed patents from the said databases.
Results and Conclusion: We retrieved ~40 patents from these databases. Novel biotechnological processes for production of these anticancer compounds include Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated hairy root culture, suspension culture, cell culture with elicitors, use of recombinant microorganisms, and bioreactors among others. The results are indicative of being both database-specific as well as queryspecific. A ten-year search window yielded 33 patents. The utility of the search strategy is discussed in the light of biotechnological developments in the field. Those who examine patent literature using similar search strategies may complement their knowledge obtained from perusal of mainstream journal resources.

The Metabolic Syndrome and the Relevance of Nutrients for its Onset by Lauren L. Schnack, Andrea M.P. Romani (101-119).
Background: Metabolic Syndrome is a pathological condition characterized by the copresence of various dysmetabolic and pathological processes including hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, and cardiovascular complications. Because these conditions manifest themselves differently in a given patient, the ensuing pathophysiological state varies from patient to patient. Consequently, the order in which signs and symptoms manifest themselves can vary, making difficult to establish cause-effect relationship, and efficacious treatment and prevention options. Furthermore, the available therapeutic options do not necessarily apply in an effective manner to all patients due to the modality of the syndrome's onset and progression, and the fact that each patient presents different clinical manifestations.
Results: Where do the metabolic disturbances originate? Genetic predisposition, maternal health, age, and ethnicity are possible influential factors, which put individuals at higher risk for developing metabolic defects. More recently, dietary factors and deficiency in key macro- and micro-nutrients have been indicated as key players in the onset and progression of the disease. We revised all possible patents applying to this topic. Aside from pharmacological agents used to treat specific medical conditions, no patents were observed to be registered for specific dietary macro- and micro-nutrients.
Conclusion: The present review attempts to provide a framework to help the reader understand the causes behind the development of the metabolic syndrome and its complication.

Patents on Endophytic Fungi by M. Gokhale, D. Gupta, U. Gupta, R. Faraz, S.S. Sandhu (120-140).
Background: Endophytic fungi are taxonomically and ecologically heterogeneous group of organisms, mainly belonging to the Ascomycotina and Deuteromycotina. Endophytes usually produce the enzymes necessary for the colonization of plant tissues. Endophytes are able to utilize components of plant cells without disturbing host metabolism, which is confirmed by isozyme analysis and studies on substrate utilization. The patents related to enzymes and metabolites produced by endophytic fungi are associated with their ecological significance. Application of metabolites and growth promoting factors produced from endophytic fungi, in the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries, is now well established. The patents on secretion of extracellular enzymes in vitro by endophytic fungi needed for cell wall degradation, support the hypothesis that fungal endophytes represent a group of organisms specialized to live within plant tissue.
Objective: This review presents the patents granted on different aspects of endophytic fungi for the last 11 years. This expresses the scenario and impact of these patents regarding significance in human society.
Conclusion: In the last few years, research and inventions regarding the different aspects of endophytic fungi beneficial for host plant as well as for human beings have been carried out, which is supported by the increasing number of patents granted on endophytic fungi.

Virus-Based RNA Silencing Agents and Virus-Derived Expression Vectors as Gene Therapy Vehicles by Srividhya Venkataraman, Tauqeer Ahmad, Mounir G. AbouHaidar, Kathleen L. Hefferon (141-151).
Background: In consideration of recent developments in understanding the genomics and proteomics of viruses, the use of viral DNA / RNA sequences as well as their gene expression schemes, have found new in-roads towards the prognosis and therapy of diseases. Correspondingly, the sphere of the patenting scenario has expanded significantly.
Objectives: The current review addresses patented inventions concerning the use of virus sequences as gene silencing machineries and inventions concerning the generation and application of viral sequences as expression vectors. Furthermore, this review also discusses the employment of these patents for clinical, agricultural and biotechnological applications.
Method: Considering these objectives, the Delphion Research Intellectual Property Network database was searched using keywords such as 'gene silencing', 'engineered viruses' and 'expression vectors' and descriptions of recent patents on the said topics were discussed.
Conclusion: Despite several recent advances in the use of viruses as disease therapy vehicles and biotechnological vectors, these developments have yet to be proven effective in practice, in clinical and field trials.

Patent Selections: by . (152-152).