Patent Protection For Worcester Discovery

In an effort to speed the development of anti-AIDS drugs—and, perhaps, to profit in the process—the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology has patented a class of substances known as anti-sense DNA.” These are pieces of synthetic DNA that have the ability to enter cells and “lock on” to the genes of a virus. The patent, received Feb. 21, is for work conducted by institution scientists Paul C. Zamecnik and John Goodchild showing that anti-sense DNA could inhibit the replication of the AIDS virus in human cells grown in the laboratory. This research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (volume 83, pages 4143-6, 1986). Although the patented world is still far from producing a cure for AIDS, the institute is actively seeking a collaborator from the pharmaceutical industry for further development of these drugs.

Both the patent and the aggressive search...

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