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CalTech, UC, and Alpha Innotech are Among Recent US Patent Winners

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The California Institute of Technology has been awarded US Patent No. 6,994,967, "Transcription factor regulators and methods for screening for same."

Inventors listed on the patent are David Baltimore and Joel Pomerantz.

According to its abstract, the patent protects methods of expression cloning of components of signaling pathways that activate a transcription factor of interest. The methods are efficient for identifying modulators of transcription factors. The modulators can then be screened further or used directly to develop therapeutics, the abstract states.


Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals has been awarded US Patent No. 6,994,993, "Human voltage-gated sodium channel ß1A subunit and methods of use."

Inventors listed on the patent are Ning Qin, Ellen Codd, and Michael D'Andrea.

According to its abstract, the patent protects cloned and characterized DNA encoding the human voltage-gated sodium channel ß1A subunit. The recombinant protein is capable of forming biologically active protein, and the cDNAs have been expressed in recombinant host cells that produce active recombinant protein. The recombinant protein has also been purified from the recombinant host cells. In addition, the recombinant host cells can be utilized to establish a method for identifying modulators of the receptor activity, and receptor modulators have been identified, the abstract states.


Asahi Kasei Kabushiki Kaisha of Osaka, Japan, has been awarded US Patent No. 6,995,011, "Vector for reversible gene integration."

Inventors listed on the patent are Akira Itoh, Yutaka Hanazono, and Keiya Ozawa.

According to its abstract, the patent protects an expression control system with which any gene of interest can be transferred into mammalian cells to thereby change the nature of the cells, and the gene can be excised at any time by administering a low molecular weight compound to the cells. Specifically, the patent describes a vector satisfying specific requirements when inserted into the genome of a mammalian cell, the abstract states.


The University of California has been awarded US Patent No. 6,995,255, "Cellular delivery agent."

Inventors listed on the patent are Lee Riley and Sangwei Lu.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a nucleic acid construct that includes a first nucleic acid, and a second nucleic acid operatively coupled to the first nucleic acid. The first nucleic acid molecule encodes a first peptide that has the sequence of InvX, or another sequence incorporating the 58 amino acid cellular import region of Mce1A, and confers on Mycobacterium tuberculosis an ability to enter mammalian cells. The second nucleic acid molecule encodes a second peptide. Expression of the nucleic acid construct produces a fusion protein comprising the first peptide coupled to the second peptide. The second peptide may be a therapeutic or a diagnostic peptide. An alternative embodiment of the nucleic acid construct includes the first nucleic acid and an insertion site suitable for incorporation of the second nucleic acid molecule into this version of the construct. The patent further relates to the fusion protein per se, screening methods for identifying fusion proteins having a protective effect against a pathogen, and therapeutic fusion proteins, the abstract states.


Alpha Innotech has been awarded US Patent No. 6,995,901, "Optical analysis systems."

David Heffelfinger is the sole inventor listed on the patent.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a system for the optical analysis of a sample. An illumination source illuminates the sample, exciting fluorescence. The fluorescence is collected by an objective lens, which transmits the collected illumination light onto an imaging lens, which focuses the collected light onto an area array detector. Collected light rays between the objective lens and the imaging lens are parallel and pass through an emission filter. Both the objective lens and the imaging lens are positioned on a mount that allows an alternative objective or imaging lens to be positioned to collect or image the emitted light. Any objective lens/imaging lens pair is optically symmetrical, greatly reducing the optically degrading effects, the abstract states.

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