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Exelixis Awarded Unites States Patent For p53 Genes and Proteins

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Exelixis has been awarded US Patent No. 6,762,291, “Insect p53 tumor suppressor genes and proteins.”

Inventors listed on the patent are: Andrew Buchman; Darren Platt; Michael Ollman; Lynn Young; Madelyn Demsky; Kevin Keegan; Lori Friedman; Casey Kopczynski; Jeffrey Larson; and Stephanie Robertson.

According to its abstract, the patent describes a family of p53 tumor suppressor nucleic acid and protein isolated from several insect species. The p53 nucleic acid and protein can be used to genetically modify metazoan invertebrate organisms, such as insects and worms, or cultured cells, resulting in p53 expression or misexpression, the abstract states. The genetically modified organisms or cells can be used in screening assays to identify candidate compounds that are potential pesticidal agents or therapeutics that interact with p53 protein, and can also be used in methods for studying p53 activity and identifying other genes that modulate the function of, or interact with, the p53 gene, the abstract states. The patent also describes nucleic acid and protein sequences for Drosophila p33 and Rb tumor suppressors.

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