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Patent Watch: Feb 13, 2009


Odyssey Thera has been awarded US Patent 7,488,583, "Fragment complementation assays for G-protein-coupled receptors and their signaling pathways."

Inventors listed on the patent are John Westwick, Brigitte Keon, and Marnie MacDonald.

According to its abstract, the patent provides a method of screening a candidate drug, a compound library or a biological extract to identify activators or inhibitors of G-protein-coupled receptors or G-protein-coupled pathways, comprising the use of a fluorescent protein fragment complementation assay to construct an assay for one or more steps in a G-protein-coupled pathway; testing the effects of the candidate drugs, compound library, or biological extract on the receptor or pathway of interest; and using the results of the screening to identify specific agents that activate or inhibit the receptor or pathway of interest. The patent also provides a method for identifying a drug lead that modulates the activity of a G-protein-coupled pathway using a fluorescent protein fragment complementation assay. The method described in the patent is used to identify agonists, antagonists, activators, or inhibitors of G-protein coupled receptors or G-protein-coupled pathways.

(see related story this issue)

The University of Pennsylvania and the Carnegie Institute of Washington have been awarded US Patent 7,488,467, "High-throughput genetic screening of lipid and cholesterol processing using fluorescent compounds."

The inventors listed on the patent are Steven Farber, Michael Pack, and Marnie Halpern.

The patent describes a method using fluorescent lipids, particularly quenched phospholipid or cholesterol analogues, to enable researchers to screen zebrafish for phenotypes representing perturbations of lipid processing; genetic mutations that lead to disorders of phospholipid and/or cholesterol metabolism; and compounds designed to treat disorders of phospholipid and/or cholesterol metabolism, according to its abstract.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.