A new biological paradigm, Systems Biology, has emerged with the completion of the Human Genome Project. The Human Genome Project has advanced the view that biological information operates on multiple hierarchical levels and is processed in complex networks. In this paradigm, cumulative knowledge will be used to build models, providing positive externalities to researchers who can use this knowledge to generate new products. As systems biology is likely to become the dominant paradigm in biology, central to the development of medically viable products is ensuring accessibility to systems-based knowledge for multiple researchers. In this paper, we have selected seven systems based on their biological significance including: the Akt (Protein Kinase B), BCR-ABL, GPCR (G-Protein-Coupled Receptor), JAK/STAT (Janus Kinase/Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription), MAP Kinase, NF-κB (Nuclear Factor Kappa B), and Phospholipase C signaling pathways. For each system we provide a complete list of patents, including categorization and institutional ownership; we also review specific patents for each system from the perspective of type of assignee, breadth of claims, and focus-namely whether the focus of the patent is on upstream knowledge regarding the signaling pathway or downstream on pharmaceutical or biological drug development, screening assays, or diagnostics.
Keywords: Systems biology, Cell signaling pathways, Signal transduction, Akt (Protein Kinase B), BCR-ABL, GPCR (GProtein- Coupled Receptor), JAK/STAT (Janus Kinase/Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription), MAP Kinase, NF-κB (Nuclear Factor Kappa B), Phospholipase C
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