Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Galapagos and Merck Are Among Recent US Patent Winners


Galapagos Genomics has been awarded US Patent No. 7,029,848, "High-throughput screening of gene function using libraries for functional genomics applications."

Inventors listed on the patent are Ronald Vogels, Abraham Bout, Helmuth van Es, and Govert Schouten.

According to its abstract, the patent protects novel means and methods to determine the function of the product(s) of one or more sample nucleic acids. The sample nucleic acids are synthetic oligonucleotides, DNA, or cDNA; and encode polypeptides, antisense nucleic acids, or GSEs. The sample nucleic acids are expressed in a host, such as a cell, by a vehicle to alter at least one phenotype of the host. The altered phenotypes are identified as a means to assign a biological function to the products encoded by the sample nucleic acids, the abstract states.

Merck has been awarded US Patent No. 7,029,868, "Cell fusion assays using fluorescence resonance energy transfer."

Inventors listed on the patent are Kathleen Sullivan, Diana Benincasa, Margaret Cascieri, Lyndon Mitnaul, Lin-Lin Shiao, and Michael Tota.

According to its abstract, the patent protects methods of identifying inhibitors of the fusion of two types of cells, particularly when fusion is mediated by the interaction of a viral protein and cellular proteins such as CD4 and chemokine receptors. The methods are suitable for identifying substances that are useful for the treatment and prevention of viral diseases. Particularly preferred methods are useful for the identification of inhibitors of HIV-1 infection, the abstract states.

Albrecht Zimmerman and Albrecht Sippel of the University of Frieburg, Germany, have been awarded US Patent No. 7,029,905, "Method for the cellular high-throughput detection of receptor-ligand interactions."

According to its abstract, the patent relates to cells with a membrane receptor comprising a ligand-binding section, a membrane-localization signal, and a mediator section. The membrane receptor is such that only when there is binding; or, alternatively, only when there is a lack of binding of a ligand to the ligand-binding section of the membrane receptor is a structural change brought about. This structural change affects the mediator section to result in binding of an effector protein or polypeptide, which is capable of activating a Ras or Ras-like signal pathway in the cell, to the component of the membrane, via other proteins or polypeptides (adaptors). The patent further relates to assay methods employing these cells, which are used, among other things, to detect specific interactions between said membrane receptor and a ligand, and kits for use in these assays.

The Scan

Wolf Howl Responses Offer Look at Vocal Behavior-Related Selection in Dogs

In dozens of domestic dogs listening to wolf vocalizations, researchers in Communication Biology see responses varying with age, sex, reproductive status, and a breed's evolutionary distance from wolves.

Facial Imaging-Based Genetic Diagnoses Appears to Get Boost With Three-Dimensional Approach

With data for more than 1,900 individuals affected by a range of genetic conditions, researchers compared facial phenotype-based diagnoses informed by 2D or 3D images in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Survey Suggests Multigene Cancer Panel VUS Reporting May Vary Across Genetic Counselors

Investigators surveyed dozens of genetic counselors working in clinical or laboratory settings, uncovering attitudes around VUS reporting after multigene cancer panel testing in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.