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CMT, University of California, Sangamo, and Euroscreen Among Recent US Patent Winners

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Cell and Molecular Technologies has been awarded US Patent No. 7,045,281, "Method for using division arrested cells in screening assays."

Inventors listed on the patent are Thomas Livelli, Zhong Zhong, Mark Federici, and Mei Cong.

According to its abstract, the patent protects methods in which division-arrested cells are used in screening assays to determine the effect of a substance of interest on the cells. The division-arrested cells can be used in drug screening assays, signal transduction assays, and are especially useful in large scale, high-throughput assays, the abstract states.


The University of California has been awarded US Patent No. 7,045,283, "Methods of high-throughput screening for internalizing antibodies."

Inventors listed on the patent are James Marks, Ulrik Nielson, and Dimitri Kirpotin.

According to its abstract, the patent protects methods of identifying ligands that are internalized into a cell. The methods typically involve contacting the cell with a reporter non-covalently coupled to a ligand; dissociating the reporter from the ligand and removing dissociated reporter from the surface of the cell; and detecting the reporter (if any is present) within said cell, where the presence of the reporter indicates that the ligand binds to an internalizing receptor and is internalized.


Tanabe Seiyaku of Japan has been awarded US Patent No. 7,045,298, "Method for identifying or screening agonist and antagonist to PPAR."

Inventors listed on the patent are Tomoyasu Taniguchi and Junko Mizukami.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a method for identifying or screening an agonist for, or antagonist to, a peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor (PPAR). The method comprises allowing a test cell and a test substance to co-exist, and detecting a change in a ligand-dependent interaction between the PPAR and a coactivator in the test cells due to the substance by measuring the expression of a reporter gene as an index, the abstract states.


Mount Sinai School of Medicine has been awarded US Patent No. 7,045,303, "Screening methods for compounds useful in the treatment of polycystic kidney disease."

Inventors listed on the patent are Patricia Wilson and Christopher Brown.

According to its abstract, the patent protects cell-based screening assays designed to identify agents that regulate the activity of the polycystic kidney disease proteins encoded by the PKD-1 and PKD-2 genes, and that may be useful in the treatment of polycystic kidney disease. The assays comprise contacting genetically engineered cells expressing a mutant or truncated PKD gene product with a test agent, and assaying for a decrease in the PKD-mediated mutant phenotype. Characteristics associated with such a mutant phenotype include increased adherence to type I collagen-coated surfaces; apical expression of NaK-ATPase on the cell membrane; increased expression of .beta.-2-NaK-ATPase; decreased focal adhesion kinase (FAK) incorporation into focal adhesion complexes; and inability to form tubular structures in a gel matrix. To facilitate the screening methods, cells may be genetically engineered to express epitope-tagged PKD gene products and/or epitope-tagged PKD interacting proteins. Such interacting proteins include, for example, focal adhesion complex proteins such as FAK, paxillin, vinculin, talin, and the like, the abstract states.


Sangamo Biosciences has been awarded US Patent No. 7,045,304, "Cells for drug discovery."

Casey Case is the sole inventor listed on the patent.

According to its abstract, the patent protects compositions and a method useful in screening a compound for its interaction and/or effect with a molecular target and/or cellular process.


Monogram Biosciences has been awarded US Patent No. 7,045,311, "Whole-cell assay systems for cell surface proteases."

Inventors listed on the patent are Gary Ciambrone and Ian Gibbons.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a method for determining the activity of a cell surface protease, particularly an ADAM, in a rapid and sensitive assay employing a whole-cell system. The assays can identify effector molecules that affect the activity of a cell surface protease directly or indirectly, and screen for therapeutic agents that modulate those effector molecules. The assays can also be used to screen for therapeutic agents that modulate the activity of a cell surface protease associated with a disease or medical condition. The patent also discloses kits comprising at least one component of the assays, the abstract states.


Euroscreen has been awarded US Patent No. 7,045,345, "G-coupled receptor showing selective affinity for ATP."

Inventors listed on the patent are Didier Communi and Jean-Marie Boeynaems.

According to its abstract, the patent protects an isolated G-protein coupled receptor, nucleic acid sequence encoding the receptor, and host cells capable of expressing the receptor. The invention further comprises methods for detecting the expression of a G-protein coupled receptor, and methods for identifying agonists or antagonists of the receptor. The invention further encompasses methods for preparing an isolated G-protein coupled receptor, the abstract states.


The General Hospital Corporation of Boston has been awarded US Patent No. 7,045,616, "Transgenic animals and cell lines for screening drugs effective for the treatment or prevention of Alzheimer's disease."

Inventors listed on the patent are Suzanne de la Monte and Jack Wands.

According to its abstract, the patent protects transgenic animals and transfected cell lines expressing a protein associated with Alzheimer's disease, neuroectodermal tumors, malignant astrocytomas, and glioblastomas. The patent also discloses the use of such animals and cell lines to screen potential drug candidates for treating or preventing Alzheimer's disease, neuroectodermal tumors, malignant astrocytomas, and glioblastomas. The invention also relates to new antisense oligonucleotides, ribozymes, triple-forming DNA, and external guide sequences that can be used to treat or prevent Alzheimer's disease, neuroectodermal tumors, malignant astrocytomas, and glioblastomas.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.