Claims to influenza nucleotide sequences

The patents and patent applications shown in the following tables were identified by a MEGABLAST analysis of the full influenza genome set using sequences recited in granted U.S. patents as the query set. The sequences that had an E value of 1e-200 or less and were at least 150 nucleotides in length were considered a match. Basic information about each patent document is presented:  publication number, title, assignee (if unknown, the inventor is listed), influenza segment matched, SEQ ID Nos. that matched the influenza segment, and notes summarizing the claimed sequences.

From an examination of the claims in granted patents, several major points emerge:

  • One-half of the patents are directed to equine influenza virus (assignee = Heska Corp.);
  • None appear to claim the H5 subtype of segment 4, which encodes hemagglutinin (HA) or the N1 subtype of segment 6, which encodes neuraminidase (NA);
  • Of the two patents that claim HA sequences, one claims sequence encoding the signal peptide region from HA1 and HA3 (US 6245532), and the other claims an antigenic fragment of HA2 and HA3.

The claims in patent applications present a different picture:

  • Claims of three patent applications are directed to reassortment viruses, useful as vaccines against H5N1 (US 20060008473 – MedImmune) or H1N1 (US 20050003349 andUS 20070231348 – Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation);
  • Of the remaining patent applications that initially claimed influenza nucleic acids, only about one-half still claim nucleic acid sequences and most of these are directed to sequences encoding internal proteins.

The tables are current as of 2 April 2008.