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Cellomics, Trellis Bioscience, Odyssey Thera Among Recent US Patent Winners


Cellomics has been awarded US Patent No. 7,060,445, "System for cell-based screening."

Inventors listed on the patent are Terry Dunlay and Lansing Taylor.

According to its abstract, the patent protects an optical system for determining the distribution, environment, or activity of fluorescently labeled reporter molecules in cells for the purpose of screening large numbers of compounds for specific biological activity. The patent describes methods that involve providing cells containing fluorescent reporter molecules in an array of locations and scanning numerous cells in each location with a fluorescent microscope; converting the optical information into digital data; and utilizing the digital data to determine the distribution, environment, or activity of the fluorescently labeled reporter molecules in the cells. The array of locations may be an industry-standard 96-well or 384-well microtiter plate or microplate having cells in a micro-patterned array of locations. The patent also describes an apparatus and computerized method for processing, displaying, and storing the data, the abstract states.

Trellis Bioscience has been awarded US Patent No. 7,060,447, "Protein localization assays for toxicity and antidotes thereto."

Lawrence Kauvar is the sole inventor on the patent.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a method in which the intracellular translocation of proteins, particularly protein kinase C isoenzymes, provides a surrogate test system for determining toxicity of candidate compounds. The profile of translocation with respect to at least one, and preferably two or more signal transduction proteins can be correlated with that of known toxins. In addition, databases of such profiles with respect to toxins of various types provide a useful set of standards for evaluating toxicity of candidate compounds. Moreover, to the extent that a toxin's profile mimics that found in a diseased state, the toxin can be used to construct screens for compounds alleviating the disease, the abstract states.

Harvard College and Imperial Cancer Research Technology have been awarded US Patent No. 7,060,450, "Screening assays for agonists and antagonists of the hedgehog signaling pathway." Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech Curis has taken an exclusive license to the patent.

Inventors listed on the patent are Clifford Tabin, Valeria Marigo, Philip Ingham, and Andrew McMahon.

According to its abstract, the patent concerns the discovery that proteins encoded by a family of vertebrate genes called hedgehog-related genes comprise morphogenic signals produced by embryonic patterning centers, and are involved in the formation of ordered spatial arrangements of differentiated tissues in vertebrates. The patent protects compositions and methods that can be utilized, for example to generate and/or maintain an array of different vertebrate tissue both in vitro and in vivo. The patent also protects cell-based assays for identifying compounds that mimic the bioactivity of a hedgehog protein.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has been awarded US Patent No. 7,060,452, "Assay method for measurement of net cholesterol flux."

Inventors listed on the patent are George Rothblat and Ginny Kellner-Weibel.

According to its abstract, the patent protects an assay for determining net cholesterol flux from lipid-loaded cells in the presence of an acceptor; for example, serum. The patent also relates to a method for evaluating efficacy of a therapeutic agent for stimulating or inhibiting net cholesterol flux. The patent also describes kits that are used to carry out the aforementioned assays and methods, its abstract states.

The University of California has been awarded US Patent No. 7,062,793, "Circularly permuted fluorescent protein indicators."

Inventors listed on the patent are Roger Tsien and Geoffrey Baird.

According to its abstract, the patent protects polynucleotides encoding fluorescent indicators that contain a sensor polypeptide inserted within a fluorescent moiety, as well as polypeptides encoded by such polynucleotides. The patent also describes circularly permuted fluorescent polypeptides, and polynucleotides encoding them. In addition, the patent describes methods of using the fluorescent indicators and the circularly permuted fluorescent polypeptides, such as for conducting cell-based protein activity assays.

Odyssey Thera has been awarded US Patent No. 7,062,219, "Protein fragment complementation assays for high-throughput and high-content screening."

Inventors listed on the patent are Stephen Michnick, Ingrid Remy, Marnie MacDonald, Jane Lamerdin, Helen Yu, and John Westwick.

According to its abstract, the patent protects single-color and multi-color protein fragment complementation assays (PCA) for drug discovery, in particular to identify compounds that activate or inhibit cellular pathways. Based on the selection of an interacting protein pair combined with an appropriate PCA reporter, such as a monomeric enzyme or fluorescent protein, the assays may be run in high-throughput or high-content mode, and may be used in automated compound library screening. The patent also describes methods for constructing such assays for one or more steps in a biochemical pathway; testing the effects of compounds from combinatorial, natural product, peptide, antibody, nucleic acid, or other diverse libraries on the protein or pathway(s) of interest; and using the results of the screens to identify specific compounds that activate or inhibit the protein or pathway(s) of interest, the abstract states.


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