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Arena Pharma, Trinity College, Hutchinson Cancer Center, Solvo Biotech Among Recent US Patent Winners

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Arena Pharmaceuticals has been awarded US Patent No. 7,119,190, “Endogenous and non-endogenous versions of human G protein-coupled receptors.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Chen Liaw, Derek Chalmers, Dominic Behan, Dominique Maciejewski-Lenior, James Leonard, I-Lin Lin, and Daniel Ortuno.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects transmembrane receptors, more particularly human G protein-coupled receptors and mutated (non-endogenous) versions of the human GPCRs for evidence of constitutive activity.
 

 
Trinity College Dublin has been awarded US Patent No. 7,122,301, “Method of assaying cellular adhesion with a coated biochip.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Igor Shvets, Dmitriy Kashanin, Dermot Kelleher, Vivienne Williams, and Yuri Volkov.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects biological assays using various constructions of biochips to mirror in vivo situations. The biochip comprises a microchannel having a liquid outlet port, bubble release port, and a liquid outlet port with an associated bubble release port. A multiplicity of tests can be performed often by coating the bore of the microchannel with various adhesion-mediating proteins or with the use of chemoattractants. The assay assembly comprises a syringe pump feeding the biochip. An inverted microscope, digital camera, and recorder are provided. A sample liquid containing cells in suspension is injected slowly through the biochip and the effect of the assay recorded over a long period, the abstract states.
 

 
Cadus Technologies has been awarded US Patent No. 7,122,305, “Methods and compositions for identifying receptor effectors.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Christine Klein, Andrew Murphy, Dana Fowlkes, James Broach, John Manfredi, Jeremy Paul, and Joshua Trueheart.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects a rapid, effective assay for screening and identifying pharmaceutically effective compounds that specifically interact with and modulate the activity of a cellular receptor or ion channel. The subject assay enables rapid screening of large numbers of polypeptides in a library to identify those polypeptides which induce or antagonize receptor bioactivity. The subject assay is particularly amenable for identifying surrogate ligands for orphan receptors, the abstract states.
 

 
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has been awarded US Patent No. 7,122,312, “Methods for drug target screening.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Stephen Friend and Leland Hartwell.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects methods for identifying targets of a drug in a cell by comparing the effects of the drug on a wild-type cell; the effects on a wild-type cell of modifications to a putative target of the drug; and the effects of the drug on a wild-type cell which has had the putative target modified of the drug. In various embodiments, the effects on the cell can be determined by measuring gene expression, protein abundances, protein activities, or a combination of such measurements. In various embodiments, modifications to a putative target in the cell can be made by modifications to the genes encoding the target, modification to abundances of RNAs encoding the target, modifications to abundances of target proteins, or modifications to activities of the target proteins. The patent also describes methods for drug development based on the methods for identifying drug targets, the abstract states.
 

 
Solvo Biotechnology has been awarded US Patent No. 7,122,329, “Simple quantitative fluorescent assay method for determining the activity of transport proteins of interest.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Lao Homolya, Bala Sarkadi, and Raymond Evers.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects a simple quantitative fluorescent assay method for determining the activity of transport proteins, more specifically multi-drug resistance-associated proteins. The method is performed on a well-sealed culture of polarized cells expressing a transport protein of interest grown to confluency on a permeable support. The confluent cells form well-separated apical and basolateral compartments. The cells are contacted with a cell-permeable non-fluorescent derivative of a fluorescent compound (e.g. calcein AM) in one compartment and, after a certain period of incubation, the fluorescence intensity detected in a sample taken from the opposite compartment is indicative of the activity of the transport protein of interest expressed in the cells. The patent also describes methods for the qualitative and quantitative determination of inhibitors and activators of transport proteins of interest, and methods for assessing basolateral and/or apical localization of plasma membrane-bound transport proteins of interest in polarized cells, the abstract states.
 

 
Surface Logix has been awarded US Patent No. 7,123,764, “Image processing method for use in analyzing data of a chemotaxis or haptotaxis assay.”
 
Inventors on the patent are Gregory Kirk, Matthew Brown, Emanuele Ostuni, Enoch Kim, Bernardo Aumond, Olivier Schueller, Paul Sweetnam, and Brian Benoit.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects an image-processing method for use in analyzing image data of a cellular migration assay. The method includes defining a major axis within the image data that is perpendicular to an orientation of channels in the image data, determining an aggregate light intensity within the image data along the major axis, and identifying locations of channels within the image data from the projection.

The Scan

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Lacks Family Hires Attorney

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For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.