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Recent Patents on Biotechnology


ISSN (Print): 1872-2083
ISSN (Online): 2212-4012

Patenting the Gene-Hubs of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress: The Systems Biology Approach

Author(s): Rafael Rangel-Aldao

Volume 1 , Issue 3 , 2007

Page: [243 - 251] Pages: 9

DOI: 10.2174/187220807782330156

Price: $65


An unprecedented and accelerated process of privatizing biological information is emerging from the new techniques of systems biology as they are used to develop novel treatments to key multigenic ailments that account for a large share of mortality worldwide, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. The systems approach potentially allows the capture of proprietary knowledge at the cross-roads of the flow of biological information preceding these diseases, namely, from the endoplasmic reticulum stress response downstream to inflammation and disease. Although it still holds true that such pathways cannot be patented, methods and chemical substances discussed here are the subject of patents and applications by major research universities and biopharmaceutical companies to a considerable degree of overlapping information. Because biological information pathways are organized into hierarchical networks, the race seems to be on the regulation of the upstream functional modules, and because these complex networks are dominated by gene-hubs and their translation products, the winner will be the one that can appropriate specific and well described methods and substances to control the upper levels of regulation of the entire system. The road to success, however, lays formidable obstacles ahead due to the long and difficult processes separating applications being filed, from patents already issued and these from those that have survived validity litigation. It will be expected that for the sake of mankind, patents pools will be offered to develop novel therapeutics based on the biological information controlled by gene-hubs.

Keywords: Systems biology, complex networks, hubs, information, CREBH, ATF6, PPAR, p53, NF-κB, PTEN

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