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BioImage, Sony, Max Planck, Packard Among US Patent Winners

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BioImage has received US Patent No. 6,790,652, “Method and apparatus for high-density format screening for bioactive molecules.”

Inventors listed on the patents are: Bernard Terry, Kurt Scudder, Per Olaf Gunnar Arkhammer, and Ole Thastrup.

According to its abstract, the patent describes a method and apparatus for screening an array of test compounds for bioactivity by contacting the compounds with a detector layer capable of detecting bioactivity and a detector-layer response. The detector layer is comprised of physiologically viable cells, the abstract states. The method and apparatus allow a large number of test compounds to be simultaneously assayed in parallel without the need for complex fluidic devices.


Stephen Zweig has received US Patent No. 6,790,632, “Membrane receptor reagent and assay.”

According to its abstract, the patent describes a membrane receptor reagent and assay in which liposomes are bound to an evanescent wave-emitting surface. Membrane receptors on the liposome’s fluid lipid bilayer membrane are labeled with a fluorescent or luminescent moiety, are free to diffuse randomly throughout the liposome surface, and thus tend to redistribute according to externally applied forces, the abstract states. The evanescent wave-emitting surface additionally contains reagents that reversibly bind to the membrane receptors, tending to bring them closer to region of high evanescent wave intensity. Test analytes that disrupt or promote the association between the membrane receptors and the surface reagents act to change the average distance between the membrane receptors and the evanescent wave-emitting surface, resulting in a change in the fluorescent or luminescent signal. This reagent and assay system functions with physiologically important membrane receptors such as GPCR receptors, other 7-transmembrane receptors, drug-transport proteins, and cytochrome P450 membrane proteins. The reagent and assay methods may be incorporated into microarrays, capillaries, flow cells and other devices, and used for drug discovery, ADMET, and other biomedically important assays, the abstract states.


Agouron Pharmaceuticals has received US Patent No. 6,790,612, “Reporter gene system for use in cell-based assessment of inhibitors of the hepatitis C virus protease.”

Inventors listed on the patent are: Karen Potts, Roberta Jackson, and Karen Patick.

According to its abstract, the patent describes a cell-based assay in which the detection of the reporter gene activity, or secreted alkaline phosphatase (SEAP), is dependent upon the protease activity of the hepatitis C virus NS3 gene product. This assay can be used to assess the activity of candidate protease inhibitors in a mammalian cell-based assay system. The assay system is simpler than previously described assays due to the use of SEAP, which allows the reporter gene activity to be quantified by measuring the amount of secreted gene product in the cell media by monitoring the conversion of luminescent or calorimetric alkaline phosphatase substrate, the abstract states.


Sony International and Max Planck University have received US Patent No. 6,787,358, “Method of forming a cell pattern on a surface.”

Inventors listed on the patent are: Gabriele Nelles, Akio Yasuda, Wolfgang Knoll, Andreas Offenhausser, Chi-Kong Yeung, and Lars Lauer.

According to its abstract, the patent describes a method of forming a pattern of cells on a surface that has been prepatterned with attached cell growth-promoting molecules and/or cell growth-inhibiting molecules attached. The invention also relates to patterns of cells, artificial tissues, and to a use thereof, the abstract states.


Packard Instrument Company has been awarded US Patent No. 6,791,687, “Imaging system for luminescence assays.

Inventors listed on the patents are: John Rushbrooke and Claire Hooper.

According to its abstract, the patent describes an apparatus for detecting light emitted by an assay sample, in which the light is collected for transmission to a photosensitive detector such as a charge coupled device by an optical fiber bundle. The cross-sectional area of the optical fiber bundle corresponds to the area of the sample, the end of which is located close to the sample for detecting any light emitted therefrom, the abstract states. Selected fibers of those making up the bundle may be separated from the remainder and extend to a source of excitation radiation to convey excitation radiation to the sample. The remaining fibers serve to collect emitted light and provide a light path to the photosensitive detector. A blocking filter and an interference filter are placed between the fiber bundle and the detector, and the blocking filter may be between the bundle and the interference filter or between the latter and the detector. Two blocking filters may be provided one ahead of and the other downstream from the interference filter. The attenuation characteristic of the two filters may be different or the same, the abstract states.

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