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Merck Frosst Canada, Los Alamos National Security, University of California Board of Regents, and Hoffmann-La Roche Awarded US Patents

Merck Frosst Canada of Kirkland, Quebec, has been awarded US Patent RE39,696, “Human cyclooxygenase-2 cDNA and assays for evaluating cyclooxygenase-2 activity.”
Inventors listed on the patent are Wanda Cromlish, Brian Kennedy, Gary O'Neill, Philip Vickers, Elizabeth Wong, and Joseph Mancini.
The patent discloses a human cyclooxygenase-2 cDNA, a human cyclooxygenase-2, and assays for preferentially and independently measuring cyclogenase-2 or cyclooxygenase-1 activity present in a given sample, according to its abstract.

Los Alamos National Security has been awarded US Patent 7,232,691, “Bioassay and biomolecular identification, sorting, and collection methods using magnetic microspheres.”
Inventors listed on the patent are Robert Kraus Jr., Feng Zhou, and John Nolan.
The abstract said the patent is “directed to processes of separating, analyzing, and/or collecting selected species within a target sample by use of magnetic microspheres including magnetic particles,” and that the magnetic microspheres are adapted for attachment to a receptor agent that can subsequently bind to selected species within the target sample. The abstract adds that the magnetic microspheres “can be sorted into a number of distinct populations, each population with a specific range of magnetic moments, and different receptor agents can be attached to each distinct population of magnetic microspheres.”

The University of California Board of Regents has been awarded US Patent 7,232,685, “Cell lines with latent immunodeficiency virus and methods of use thereof.”
Inventors listed on the patent are Eric Verdin and Albert Jordan.
The patent provides isolated cells that comprise, integrated into the genome of the cell, a transcription-competent immunodeficiency virus or a transcription-competent immunodeficiency virus-based retroviral vector, its abstract stated. The abstract also stated that, “Under basal in vitro culture conditions, the immunodeficiency virus is latent, and the expression of the latent immunodeficiency virus can be reactivated.” The invention further provides methods of making a subject cell, screening methods for identifying agents that activate a latent immunodeficiency virus, and screening methods for identifying agents that block reactivation of latent immunodeficiency virus expression in response to T cell activation signals, according to the abstract. In addition, the invention further provides “agents identified in the subject screening assays and methods of treating an immunodeficiency virus infection.”

Hoffmann-La Roche has been awarded US Patent 7,230,155, “Method for identifying an agonist of neuronal calcium sensor-1, for therapy of CNS disorders.”
The inventor listed on the patent is Patrick Nef.
The invention provides “a method for determining whether an agent is an agonist of the neuron-specific calcium sensor-1, for consideration as a drug candidate for therapy of a behavioral disorder or for improving learning and/or memory of a subject.” The abstract said the method is comprised of the following steps: contacting a cell, tissue, or non-human animal with an agent to be screened under conditions to permit neuron-specific calcium sensor-1 activity; and determining NCS-1 activity of said treated cell, tissue, or non-human animal, wherein an increase in NCS-1 activity compared with a corresponding control cell, tissue, or animal is indicative of an agent that is an agonist of NCS-1.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.