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PATENT WATCH: Jun 29, 2001

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Qiagen was awarded US Patent Number 6,248,521 for a method of amplifying oligonucleotides onto a flat substrate such as a glass slide or silicon wafer. The patent, “Amplification and other enzymatic reactions performed on nucleic acid arrays,” describes a method wherein an oligonucleotide primer and a DNA polymerase are hybridized to the oligonucleotide sequence anchored or deposited on the array. Then the method is used to synthesize a complementary strand to that sequence to form a duplex, unzip this duplex and synthesize additional complementary strands, at a controlled dewpoint.

Applied Biosystems was issued US Patent Number 6,245,297 for a method of transferring small volumes of substances onto a substrate such as a microarray slide. The patent, “Apparatus and method for transferring small volumes of substances,” covers a method where a conveyor belt moves the substrates under the instrument, and the tip of the instrument extends downward and picks up sample, then moves up, and when the substrate is under it, deposits the volume of sample onto the substrate.

Large Scale Biology subsidiary Large Scale Proteomics was awarded European Patent Number WO0136585 for detection of proteins and antibodies on microarrays using nucleic acid sequence tags on antibody display phages. The patent, “Sequence tag microarray and method for detection of multiple proteins through DNA methods,” involve methods for simultaneously measuring multiple proteins in a sample using microarrays. The method works, according to the patent, even when different proteins are present in different concentrations because the sequence tags can be amplified to make up for this difference.

Incyte Genomics received European Patent Number WO0136684 for mammalian nucleic acid and protein molecules that can be used on microarrays. The patent, “Mammalian toxicological response markers,” covers molecules used specifically to detect toxicological and metabolic responses to drugs, and monitor the mechanism of action for drugs, the patent said. The patent also covers microarray-based toxicology screening methods for compounds.

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