Affymetrix has received US Patent Number 6,333,155, “Exploiting genomics in the search for new drugs.” The patent covers the use of high-density oligonucleotide probe arrays (read, GeneChips) to monitor changes in mRNA levels in cells treated with drug or therapeutic candidate compounds, in comparison to un-treated cells, in order to determine how the drug affects gene expression and to discover compounds with potentially useful therapeutic affects.
Johns Hopkins University has received US Patent Number 6,333,152, “Gene expression profiles in normal and cancer cells.” The patent describes research examining gene expression patterns in gastrointestinal tumors, looking at 300,000 transcripts for at least 45,000 different genes. The research identified over 500 transcripts that were differentially expressed in normal vs. tumor cells. These transcripts, according to the patent, reveal genes that could be potentially used as diagnostic or prognostic markers for gastrointestinal tumors.
Torben Orntoft, of the department of clinical biochemistry at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, has received US Patent Number 6,335,170, “Gene expression in bladder tumors.” The patent describes methods that use gene expression analysis in bladder tumor cells as diagnostic and prognostic tools. One method compares expression in tumor cells to expression patterns in reference cells. A second method manipulates gene expression patterns to exclude the genes that are expressed in cell types that can contaminate the sample, such as submucosal, smooth muscle, or connective tissue cells. A third method subtracts the expression of genes ordinarily expressed in these cell types. The point of these methods is to eliminate contamination bias from layers of cells adjoining the tumor cell.