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Applera, U of Texas, MIT, and Surface Logix are Among Recent US Patent Winners

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Applera has been awarded US Patent No. 6,893,827, "Receptor function assay for G-protein coupled receptors and orphan receptors by reporter enzyme mutant complementation."

Inventors listed on the patent are Michelle Palmer, Melissa Gee, Bonnie Tillotson, and Xiao-Jia Chang.

According to its abstract, the patent protects methods for detecting G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) activity; methods of assaying GPCR activity; and methods of screening for GPCR ligands, G-protein-coupled receptor kinase (GRK) activity, and compounds that interact with components of the GPCR regulatory process.


DeCode Genetics and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have been awarded US Patent No. 6,893,828, "Methods for producing ex vivo models for inflammatory disease and uses thereof."

Inventors listed on the patent are Hakon Hakonarson and Michael Grunstein.

According to its abstract, the patent protects methods for inducing a pro-asthma/pro-inflammatory like state in a resident tissue cell, comprising contacting the cell with IL-1ß, TNF-α, or both. The patent also protects methods for identifying genes that regulate responses to anti-inflammatory drugs, methods for drug screening, and methods for identifying genes that correlate with various pro-asthma/pro-inflammatory disease phenotypes.


The University of Texas has been awarded US Patent No. 6,893,830, "Method of screening oxysterol activation of LXRa."

Inventors listed on the patent are Bethany Janowski and David Mangelsdorf.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a method of screening for agonists of an oxycholesterol activator of LXRa transcription, comprising the steps of: introducing a reporter construct and an LXR expression construct into a host cell; treating the host cell with potential LXR-specific ligands; and identifying compounds which activate LXRa transcription. The patent also protects a method of screening for antagonists of an oxycholesterol activator of LXRa transcription, comprising the steps of: introducing a reporter construct and an LXR expression construct into a host cell; pretreating the host cell with activators of LXRa transcription; contacting the host cell with potential antagonists of LXRa transcription; and identifying compounds which block the activation the LXRa transcription, the abstract states.


Surface Logix has been awarded US Patent No. 6,893,851, "Method for arraying biomolecules and for monitoring cell motility in real-time."

Inventors listed on the patent are Enoch Kim, Gregory Kirk, Olivier Schueller, and Emanuele Ostuni.

According to its abstract, the patent protects devices for arraying biomolecules, including cells; methods for arraying biomolecules; assays for monitoring cellular movement; and systems for monitoring cellular movement. The devices include a support; a first layer configured to be placed in fluid-tight contact with the support and having an upper surface and defining a pattern of micro-orifices, each of which has walls and defines a micro-region on the support when the first layer is placed in fluid-tight contact with the support such that the walls of each micro-orifice and the micro-region on the support together define a micro-well; and a second layer configured to be placed in fluid-tight contact with the upper surface of the first layer, the second layer defining a pattern of macro-orifices, each of which has walls and defines a macro-region when the first layer is placed in fluid-tight contact with the support and the second layer is placed in fluid-tight contact with the first layer such that the walls of the macro-orifice and the macro-region together define a macro-well, the abstract states.


The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been awarded US Patent No. 6,893,877, "Methods for screening substances in a microwell array."

Inventors listed on the patent are Ian Hunter, Colin Brenan, and Tanya Kanigan.

According to its abstract, the patent protects methods for manufacturing and using an apparatus for manipulating and analyzing a large number of microscopic samples of a liquid or materials, including cells, in liquid suspension. Parallel through-holes are formed in a plate and loaded with a liquid, the abstract states. Loading may be performed in such a way as to create a gradient, with respect to the position of the through-holes, of the concentration of a particular substance or of another quantity. Mixing of the contents of through-holes may be obtained by bringing filled microwell arrays into contact with each other with registration of individual through-holes, the abstract states.


Oregon Health Sciences University and Icagen have been awarded US Patent No. 6,894,147, "Intermediate conductance calcium-activated potassium channels (IK1)."

Inventors listed on the patent are John Adelman, James Maylie, Chris Bond, and Christopher Silvia.

According to its abstract, the patent protects small- and intermediate-conductance calcium-activated potassium channel proteins. More specifically, the patent protects compositions and methods for making and detecting calcium-activated potassium channel proteins and the nucleic acids encoding calcium-activated potassium channel proteins, the abstract states. The patent also protects methods and compositions for assaying compounds which increase or decrease potassium ion flux though a calcium-activated potassium channel, the abstract states.

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