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Novartis, Caliper, VisEn

Novartis Licenses Caliper’s Non-Invasive Optical Imaging Methods
Caliper Life Sciences this week announced that Novartis has signed a multi-year license to Caliper's patented non-invasive optical imaging methods.
Caliper said that it has placed over 450 of its Xenogen IVIS units to date and recently launched the new Xenogen IVIS Spectrum system.

VisEn Asks USPTO to Invalidate Caliper's In Vivo Imaging Patent
VisEn Medical said this week that it has filed a re-examination request with the US Patent and Trademark Office to invalidate and revoke claims of a patent awarded earlier this week to Caliper Life Sciences for in vivo imaging technology.
The USPTO granted the patent, US No. 7,255,851, “Non-invasive localization of a light-emitting conjugate in a mammal,” on Tuesday.
The patent was issued to Stanford University and is among a family of Stanford patents that was licensed to Xenogen prior to Caliper’s $80 million acquisition of the company last year.
VisEn said yesterday it has presented 15 prior art references “demonstrating the invalidity of the '851 patent, the majority of which had not been previously considered by the USPTO."
The company said that the technologies used in optical in vivo imaging had been researched and developed by "numerous investigators worldwide," and were in use before 1994, when the first application in the patent estate was filed.
VisEn CEO Kirtland Poss said in a statement that while his company “respects the contributions of Caliper/Xenogen to the field of bioluminescence imaging, we believe it is clear that the basic methods of fluorescence in vivo imaging were well known and in use before the priority date of the '851 patent, and therefore that the claims therein are clearly invalid."
"We are confident that the rich history of optical in vivo imaging and the clear sequence of prior art references speak for themselves, and we look forward to continuing the development of all aspects of molecular imaging along with the leadership in the field," Poss added.
Poss told CBA News sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News that for VisEn, the best possible outcome of the action would be "if the science and the patents reflect only outcomes that were novel at the time of the original invention."
Caliper officials were not available for comment.

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.