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Amnis Publicizes Recent Patents; Files Additional Applications Related to Imaging System


Seattle-based Amnis has been issued eight U.S. patents over the last year and a half covering the “architecture, subsystems, algorithms, cell-probing techniques, and applications” of its ImageStream high-speed flow imaging system for cellular analysis, the company said on May 26.

Since the patents have been in the public domain for quite some time, the bigger news may have been that the company has also filed six new patents covering specific drug discovery, basic research, and diagnostic applications that can be performed using the instrument.

“We’ve gotten it to the point where we can churn out a lot of data,” said Jack Ball, Amnis’ CEO and president. “This means that we will be able to produce kits for specific applications.” Ball cited applications such as gene expression, FISH, and nuclear translocation studies.

In addition, Ball said that Amnis is on target for the commercial launch of the ImageStream, which is currently being used by advance-access customers only. In March (see GenomeWeb, 3/22/2004), Ball told GenomeWeb News, Inside Bioassays’ sister publication, that the company was planning to launch the instrument in the fourth quarter. “We’re still talking about Q4 of this year,” he told Inside Bioassays last week.

Ball also said that the company has just initiated a Series C financing round with the target of raising $12 million by the end of July, and that it had strong support from investors that participated in the Series B financing, which was completed in 2001.

Furthermore, although there are no new advance-access customers in addition to the University of Washington and the unnamed “major Southern California biotech” that he mentioned in April, Ball said last week that in a few weeks, five units are pending installation “at core facilities of biotech companies and academic institutions.”

The unnamed biotech is presumably Amgen, as a scientist from that company, Gary Bennett, recently gave a presentation about the instrument called “Imaging in flow: Early application data with the ImageStream 100 beta prototype” at the international congress of the International Society of Analytical Cytology, held last week in Montpellier, France.

The patents announced by Amnis are:

• 6,563,583; “Alignment of a multipass cavity for illumination and excitation of moving objects.”

• 6,580,504; “Multipass cavity for illumination and excitation of moving objects.”

• 6,583,865; “Alternative detector configuration and mode of operation of a time delay integration particle analyzer.”

• 6,608,680; “TDI imaging system for kinetic studies.”

• 6,608,682; “Imaging and analyzing parameters of small moving objects such as cells.”

• 6,618,140; “Spectral deconvo lution of fluorescent markers.”

• 6,671,044; “Imaging and analyzing parameters of small moving objects such as cells in broad flat flow.”

• 6,707,551; “Detection of a multipass cavity for illumination and excitation of moving objects.”



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