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Bayer Healthcare and SRI International Among Recent US Patent Winners

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Michael Harpold, Steven Ellis, and Mark Williams have been awarded US Patent No. 7,063,950, "Nucleic acids encoding human calcium channel and methods of use thereof."

The inventors filed the patent in 1995 while affiliated with the company Sibia Neurosciences, which was acquired by Merck in 1999.

According to its abstract, the patent protects isolated DNA encoding human calcium channel subunits, including subunits that arise as splice variants of primary transcripts. The patent also describes cells and vectors containing the DNA and methods for identifying compounds that modulate the activity of human calcium channels.


Bayer Healthcare AG has been awarded US Patent No. 7,063,952, "Masking background flourescence and luminescence in optical analysis of biomedical assays."

Inventors listed on the patent are Thoams Krahn, Wolfgang Paffhausen, Andreas Schade, Martin Bechem, and Delf Schmidt.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a process for the quantitative optical analysis of fluorescently labeled biological cells, in which a cell layer on a transparent support at the bottom of a reaction vessel is in contact with a solution containing fluorescent dye. The sensitivity of analytical detection can be considerably improved if a masking dye is added to the solution that absorbs the excitation light for the fluorescent dye and/or its emission light; and/or if a separating layer permeable to the solution and absorbing and/or reflecting excitation or emission light is applied to the cell layer at the bottom, the abstract states. This process can also be used for improving the sensitivity in the quantitative optical analysis of a luminescent biological cell layer, in which case the separating layer must be composed such that it has a high power of reflection for luminescent light. Analogously, these principles can also be used in receptor studies for masking the interfering background radiation in the quantitative optical analysis of fluorescently or luminescently labelled reaction components, the abstract states.


SRI International has been awarded US Patent No. 7,063,966, "Chimeric G protein coupled receptors."

Inventors listed on the patent are Geetha Shankar, Jason Munning, and Juliet Spencer.

According to its abstract, the patent protects chimeric Edg receptors, useful as components of an assay system. The patent also provides methods of screening for compounds that bind a chimeric Edg receptor, for example, by contacting a chimeric Edg receptor with a compound and detecting a change in chimeric Edg receptor-mediated activity such as calcium mobilization, the abstract states.

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