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Geron, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Geron has been awarded US Patent 7,250,294, “Screening small molecule drugs using neural cells differentiated from human embryonic stem cells.”
The inventors listed on the patent are Melissa Carpenter, Jerrod Denham, Margaret Inokuma, and R. Scott Thies.
According to its abstract, this patent provides populations of neural progenitor cells and differentiated neurons, which are obtained by culturing pluripotent cells in special growth cocktails. The technology can be used to produce progenitors that proliferate through at least approximately 40 doublings, while maintaining the ability to differentiate into a variety of different neural phenotypes, including dopaminergic neurons.
The neural progenitors and terminally differentiated neurons of this invention can be generated in large quantities for use in drug screening and the treatment of neurological disorders, the abstract said.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals has been awarded US Patent 7,250,272, “G protein-coupled receptor protein and DNA thereof.”
The inventors listed on the patent are Syuji Sato, Yasushi Shintani, and Nobuyuki Miyajima.
The patent aims at providing a useful and novel G protein-coupled receptor protein and DNA, its abstract stated. The G protein-coupled receptor protein of the present invention and the polynucleotides encoding the receptor protein are useful for: determination of ligands (agonists); preparation of antibodies and antisera; construction of recombinant receptor protein expression systems; development of the receptor binding assay systems using the expression systems and screening of pharmaceutical candidate compounds; effecting drug design based on comparison with structurally similar ligand receptors; reagents for preparation of probes and PCR primers for gene diagnosis; and production of transgenic animals and pharmaceutical drugs for the gene prophylaxis and gene therapy.

Bristol-Myers Squibb has been awarded US Patent 7,250,268, “Assay for measuring IκB kinase activity and identifying IκB kinase modulators.”
The inventors listed on the patent are James Burke and Shulin Wang.
The abstract said that the patent relates to a functional assay for IκB kinase (IKK), the proteasome, and ubiquitin ligase. Cells expressing an IκB-beta-lactamase fusion protein are used to screen for inhibitors of IKK, the proteasome, and ubiquitin ligase. Inhibitors identified through the inventive assay are useful in the treatment of NFκB disorders, such as immune and inflammatory disorders.
According to the abstract, the patent also includes cell lines useful in assays of the invention, compounds identified by assays of the invention, compositions including such compounds and methods for the treatment of disease states.

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