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Evotec and Cytovia are Among Recent Winners of US Patents Related to Cell-Based Assays

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The University of Sydney has been awarded US Patent No. 6,984,489, "Cytochrome P450 transcriptional enhancer nucleic acid molecule."

Inventors listed on the patent are Christopher Liddle and Bryan Goodwin.

According to its abstract, the patent protects an isolated nucleic acid molecule comprising a nucleotide sequence encoding a transcriptional enhancer of cytochrome P450 (P450) CYP3A4 production or expression. The patent also protects uses of the nucleic acid molecule for screening compounds for xenobiotic induction of CYP3A4 expression in cells and animals, the abstract states.


Warner-Lambert has been awarded US Patent No. 6,984,496, "In vitro assay for testing gabapentinoid activity."

Inventors listed on the patent are Fu-Zon Chung and Yulong Hong.

According to its abstract, the patent protects an assay and method for selecting analogs and derivatives of gabapentin based on the compound's inhibitory activity toward MAP kinase and MAP kinase-mediated reporter gene expression. The method includes the steps of activating the MAP kinase signaling pathway, detecting the MAP kinase signal, and screening the gabapentin analogs and derivatives for inhibitory activity against the MAP kinase signal, the abstract states.


Evotec OAI has been awarded US Patent No. 6,984,501, "Voltage-gated potassium channel and its use for development of therapeutics."

Inventors listed on the patent are Rainer Netzer and Olaf Pongs.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a novel tension-dependent potassium channel protein, Kv6.2. The Kv6.2 gene is expressed preferably in the myocardium or in the hippocampus. Novel functional heteromultimeric potassium channels having high affinity with propafenone are formed in conjunction with subunit Kv2.1. The patent discloses methods in which said potassium channels are used in test systems which are suitable of identifying substances modulating, opening, or closing the channels, and which can be used as therapeutic agents, the abstract states.


The University of Wales College of Medicine has been awarded US Patent No. 6,984,520, "Bioassay for thyroid stimulating antibodies."

Marian Ludgate is the lone inventor listed on the patent.

According to its abstract, the patent protects an assay method for TSH-R autoantibodies or TSH. The method comprises contacting a test sample, in the presence or absence of TSH, with cells from a clone expressing human TSH-R transfected with a reporter construct comprising cDNA of both (1) a reactant, such as an enzyme, capable of causing a measurable response when brought into contact with a corresponding substrate, such as a protein, and (2) a promoter containing cyclic AMP response elements, whereby cAMP levels vary with expression of the reactant. The patent also protects related kits, reporter constructs, and related biological material, the abstract states.


Cytovia has been awarded US Patent No. 6,984,718, "Fluorescence dyes and their applications for whole-cell fluorescence screening assays for caspases, peptidases, proteases, and other enzymes, and the use thereof."

Inventors listed on the patent are Han-Zhong Zhang, Sui Xiong Cai, John Drewe, and Wu Yang.

According to its abstract, the patent protects novel fluorescent dyes, novel fluorogenic and fluorescent reporter molecules, and new enzyme assay processes that can be used to detect the activity of caspases and other enzymes involved in apoptosis in whole cells, cell lines, and tissue samples derived from any living organism or organ. The reporter molecules and assay processes can be used in drug screening procedures to identify compounds which act as inhibitors or inducers of the caspase cascade in whole cells or tissues. The reagents and assays described in the patent are also useful for determining the chemosensitivity of human cancer cells to treatment with chemotherapeutic drugs, the abstract states. The patent also protects novel fluorogenic and fluorescent reporter molecules and new enzyme assay processes that can be used to detect the activity of type 2 methionine aminopeptidase, HIV protease, adenovirus protease, HSV-1 protease, HCMV protease, and HCV protease, the abstract states.


Bayer HealthCare has been awarded US Patent No. 6,985,225, "Fluorescence-measuring system."

Inventors listed on the patent are Martin Bechem and Wolfgang Paffhausen.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a fluorescence-measuring system that can be employed for high-throughput screening in drug development. The arrangement for fluorescence excitation contains a two-dimensionally extended sample-receiving device and at least two illumination sources for exciting the fluorescence of the samples. The illumination sources are extended linearly and arranged in such a way that the illuminated area of the sample-receiving device is homogeneously illuminated directly, or via deflecting mirrors at an opening angle of less than or equal to 30°. A detector system for the fluorescence light from the sample-receiving device is arranged on either side of the device in such a way that it detects fluorescence emission from the area of measurement at an angle outside the range of reflection of the excitation light at the illuminated area of the device, preferably at an angle in the range from 80° to 100°, particularly preferably about 90°, to the extended plane of the area of the sample-receiving device, the abstract states.

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