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BioTell, Epoch Pharmaceuticals, Syngenta Participations, Hitachi Software Engineering, Nanogen, Applera, Cellomics


BioTell of Brookline, Mass., received US Patent No. 6,728,429, “Optical detection.” The patent covers waveguide-based technology to increase sensitivity of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) measurement through the use of differential detection. The enhanced sensitivity of the method enables analysis and detection of a wide range of analytes including DNA, antibodies, proteins, and other chemical compounds. These methods achieve this result by sampling the SPR response curve at more than one point. This can be achieved using a detection device with sets of optical waveguides having distinct propagation parameters, or by using light of different wavelengths. These methods are suitable for multi-analyte and multi-sample applications in a miniaturized detection system. Furthermore, this invention makes use of an alternating polarity electric field to reduce nonspecific analyte binding and detection time.

Epoch Pharmaceuticals of Redmond, Wash., received US Patent No. 6,727,356, “Fluorescent quenching detection reagents and methods.” The patent covers a scheme for using oligonucleotide-fluorophore-quencher conjugates with a fluorophore moiety that has emission wavelengths in the range of about 300 to about 800 nm, and or where the quencher includes a substituted phenylamine structure to provide improved signal to noise ratios and other advantageous characteristics in hybridization and related assays.

Syngenta Participations of Basel, Switzerland, received US Patent No. 6,727,068 “Method for non-redundant library construction.” Provided are novel methods for the production of nucleic acid libraries having reduced redundancy. Also provided are methods for determination of changes in RNA expression associated with pathological conditions, and physiological or developmental state. Additional aspects provided non-redundant tags or probes produced by the disclosed methods and microarrays incorporating such tags.

Hitachi Software Engineering of Kanagawa, Japan, received US Patent No. 6,726,883 “Spotting pin.” The patent covers a spotting pin comprising a bar-like plunger. Four projections each formed in the shape of a top portion of a quadrangular pyramid are formed on the head of the plunger. The apexes of the quadrangular pyramids constituting the projections are located inside a virtual plane extending from the peripheral wall of the plunger.

Nanogen received US Patent No. 6,726,880, “Electronic device for performing active biological operations and method of using same.” The patent covers an electronic device for performing biological operations. The technology includes a support substrate and an array of microlocations disposed on the substrate. The array of microlocations includes electronically addressable electrodes. A first collection electrode is disposed on the substrate and adjacent to a first side of the array of microlocations. A second collection electrode is disposed on the substrate and adjacent to a second side of the array of microlocations, the second side of the array being opposite of the first side such that the array of microlocations is disposed between the first and second collection electrodes. A flow cell is supported on the substrate. Preferably, the combined area of the collection electrodes is a substantial fraction — preferably at least 50 percent of the area of the footprint of the flow cell.

Applera received US Patent No. 6,726,820, “Method of separating biomolecule-containing samples with a microdevice with integrated memory.” The present invention provides microdevices, such as those used in the pharmaceutical and biotechnological fields, that include an integrated memory. According to various embodiments, the integrated memory is readable, writable, and rewritable. The present invention further provides processing stations for carrying out electrophoresis, PCR, genetic analysis, sample preparation, and/or sample cleanup that are capable of reading from and/or writing/rewriting to such memory.

Cellomics of Pittsburgh received US Patent No. 6,727,071, “System for cell-based screening.” The invention provides systems, methods, and screens for an optical system analysis of cells to rapidly determine the distribution, environment, or activity of fluorescently labeled reporter molecules in cells for the purpose of screening large numbers of compounds for those that specifically affect particular biological functions. The invention involves providing cells containing fluorescent reporter molecules in an array of locations and scanning numerous cells in each location with a high magnification fluorescence optical system, converting the optical information into digital data, and utilizing the digital data to determine the distribution, environment or activity of the fluorescently labeled reporter molecules in the cells. The array of locations may be an industry standard 96-well or 384-well microtiter plate or a microplate. The invention includes apparatus and computerized methods for processing, displaying and storing the data.