Concerning the over 400 patents that INO has accumulated regarding the constructs of various synthetic DNA:. What makes each DNA strand different from one another? I know each strand has certain connections but I've forgotten my science S-T and A-R???? Anyways, what makes these patentable? Thanks in advance!
So the DNA sequence of a string of nucleotides (consisting of Adenosine Thymidine Guanine Cytosine or As Ts Gs and Cs) gets converted to messenger RNA in the nucleus (this is called transcription). This mRNA is transported out of the nucleus into the endoplasmic reticulum where the mRNA gets converted to proteins by ribonecleoproteins (this is called translation). Once the ribonuceoproteins see the sequence for a methionine (encoded by ATG) on the mRNA sequence, that tells the cells to start stringing amino acids together. Each 3 subsequent nucleotides (A T G or Cs) encode for an amino acid to be added. There are 20 something amino acids (sorry I forgot how many), and several nucleotide sequences encode the same amino acid. For instance ATG and ATC both encode methionine.
So basically you cannot patent genes or DNA (see Myriad Genetics etc). What you can patent (and this is what INO owns the patents to) is a plasmid (a circular piece of DNA that contains a specific DNA sequence) corresponding to a protein that can be produced once the plasmid gets into the cell. However, until electroporation, the patents for the plasmids were useless, because you couldn't get enough into the cell to get the cells to start making the protein. But guess what, INO owns the patents to both the plasmids and the electroporation device. They don't need to patent any proteins, because the body makes the patents themselves, and allows for the robust generation of proteins for vaccine purposes or protein manufacturing (see their enhanced plasmids for monoclonal antibody generation). Very ingenious company.
Does that make sense? If not let me know. Or let me know what parts don't make sense.
They engineer the DNA sequences so that they produce not the natural target proteins, but enhanced target proteins or parts of proteins that will produce a stronger inflammatory response, will more strongly attract immune cells, are structured to be more accessible to and "attackable" by killer T cells. And enhanced delivery by electrocorporation means that they are produced in much greater quantities than competitors can produce. Native DNA is not patentable, as it is a product of nature