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Avaris, UCal, Scripps, Odyssey Thera Among Recent US Patent Recipients

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Access Business Group International has been awarded US Patent No. 6,869,771, “Method for distributing equal volumes of attached confluent living cells.”

Yong Qian is the lone inventor listed on the patent.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a method for distributing an equal volume of attached confluent living cells in each well of a multi-well plate used in a bioassay. The method comprises the following steps: (1) growing attached living cells on a medium until the cells are confluent; (2) treating the attached confluent living cells with an enzyme solution, whereby the solution and the attached cells make a cell suspension; (3) filtering the cell suspension in a filter; (4) collecting a cell suspension filtrate containing uniformly distributed attached confluent living cells therein; and (e) distributing an equal volume of the cell suspension filtrate into wells of a plate whereby each well has an equal volume of cells for use in a bioassay.


Avaris AB has been awarded US Patent No. 6,869,796, “Method of introducing organic molecules into target cells.”

Inventors listed on the patent are Edvard Smith and Lars Branden.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a method of introducing organic molecules carrying genetic information into isolated target cells, which comprises the step of passing a supernatant containing said organic molecules through a fluidized collection of said target cells during an essentially constant flow. The fluidization is provided by directing a flow of the supernatant so as to essentially counteract the gravitational force of the target cells, or alternatively a force applied thereon. Thus, the method enables an efficient introduction of genetic information into the target cells, the abstract states.


Diversa Corporation has been awarded US Patent No. 6,872,526, “High-throughput screening for novel bioactivities.”

Inventors listed on the patent are Jay Short and Martin Keller.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a process for identifying clones having a specified activity of interest. The process comprises (1) generating one or more expression libraries derived from nucleic acid directly isolated from the environment; and (2) screening said libraries utilizing a fluorescence-activated cell sorter to identify said clones. More particularly, the patent protects a process for identifying clones having a specified activity of interest by (1) generating one or more expression libraries derived from nucleic acid directly or indirectly isolated from the environment; (2) exposing said libraries to a particular substrate or substrates of interest; and (3) screening said exposed libraries utilizing a fluorescence-activated cell sorter to identify clones which react with the substrate or substrates, the abstract states. Also protected is a process for identifying clones having a specified activity of interest by (1) generating one or more expression libraries derived from nucleic acid directly or indirectly isolated from the environment; and (2) screening said exposed libraries utilizing an assay requiring co-encapsulation, a binding event or the covalent modification of a target, and a fluorescence-activated cell sorter to identify positive clones, the abstract states.


The University of California has been awarded US Patent No. 6,872,537, “Assays for the detection of microtubule depolymerization inhibitors.”

Inventors listed on the patent are Ronald Vale and James Hartman.

According to its abstract, the patent protects methods for screening and identifying agents having potent effects on the progression of the cell cycle. In one embodiment, the methods involve contacting a polymerized microtubule-severing protein or a microtubule-depolymerizing protein in the presence of an ATP or a GTP and a test agent; and subsequently detecting the formation of tubulin monomers, dimers, or oligomers. The p60 subunit of katanin provides a particularly preferred microtubule-severing protein possessing both ATPase and microtubule-severing activities.


The Scripps Research Institute has been awarded US Patent No. 6,872,574, “Proteomic analysis.”

Inventors listed on the patent are Benjamin Cravatt, Erik Sorenson, Matthew Patricelli, Martha Lovato, and Gregory Adam.

According to its abstract, the patent protects methods for analyzing proteomes, as cells or lysates. The analysis is based on the use of probes that have specificity to the active form of proteins, particularly enzymes and receptors. The probes can be identified in different ways. In addition, the patent protects a method for generating and screening compound libraries that are used for the identification of lead molecules, and for the parallel identification of their biological targets, the abstract states. By appending specific functionalities and/or groups to one or more binding moieties, the reactive functionalities gain binding affinity and specificity for particular proteins and classes of proteins. Such libraries of candidate compounds, referred to as activity-based probes, are used to screen for one or more desired biological activities or target proteins, the abstract states.


Odyssey Thera has been awarded US Patent No. 6,872,871, “Mapping molecular interactions in plants with protein fragment complementation assays.”

Inventors listed on the patent are Normand Brisson and Stephen Michnick.

According to its abstract, the patent protects protein fragment complementation assays performed in plant material using enzyme fragment constructs; for example, dihydrofolate reductase fragment constructs. Plant material is transformed with at least two different constructs that form different products capable of interacting to reconstitute enzymatic activity in the plant material, the abstract states. Detection of the activity can be done using a substrate for the enzyme in the culture medium which, when reacted with the enzyme, is converted to a detectable product. One embodiment uses a substrate that can be enzymatically converted to a detectable fluorescent product. And inducer such as rapamycin or salicylic acid can be added to the culture medium to increase the level of detectable product, the abstract states.

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