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Stanford, Parker Hughes Institute Win US Patents; Six Applications Published by USPTO


The US Patent and Trademark Office recently awarded two patents related to cell-based assays and cellular analysis for drug screening:

The Parker Hughes Institute has been awarded US Patent No. 6,953,875, "Transgenic zebra fish embryo model for hematopoiesis and lymphoproliferative disorders."

Inventors listed on the patent are Faith Uckun and Alexcy Benyumov.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a transgenic zebrafish animal model that can be used to study hematopoetic cell differentiation, control, and screen therapeutic agents, and can include a transgenic zebrafish expressing a heterologous Ikaros protein.


Stanford University has been awarded US Patent No. 6,954,722, "Methods and systems for data analysis."

Inventors listed on the patent are David Parks and Wayne Moore.

According to its abstract, the patent protects methods of analyzing and/or displaying data. In one aspect, the invention provides methods for visualizing or displaying high dynamic range data obtained from flow cytometry analyses, the abstract states. The patent also protects related systems and computer programs products.

The USPTO has also published several cell-based assay-related patent applications of note in the past month:

Title: Method of, and computer software for, classification of cells into subpopulations

Number: 20050207633

Filed: April 2, 2004

Inventors: Nick Arini, Alla Zaltsman, Ian Goodyear, Yuriy Alexandrov, Jurek Cybuch, Bohdan Soltys, Louis Dagenais, Liz Roquemore, and Sam Murphy (Amersham Biosciences/GE Healthcare)

According to its abstract, the patent application is for a method of classifying cells into subpopulations using cell-classifying data. The method comprises receiving and analyzing image data to identify object areas in the data to determine, for at least one selected first cell, one or more measurements. A first parameter set is derived from the measurements for the first cell, and comprises at least one of said measurements. The first set of cells are classified into subpopulations, and identified to produce first identifying data. Cell classifying data for use in classifying a second set of cells into subpopulations is derived from the first parameter set and the first identifying data. A second set of cells is classified into subpopulations on the basis of one or more measurements taken for cells in the second set of cells, by use of the cell classifying data. The parameter sets of cells may be represented as vectors in an n-dimensional space.


Title: Micro-pattern embedded plastic optical film device for cell-based assays

Number: 20050208467

Filed: April 17, 2004

Inventors: Jean Qui (Nexcelom Bioscience)

According to its abstract, the patent application is for a micro-pattern embedded optical film for cell-based assays. The optical film contains micro-patterns in the form of geometric shapes, such as lines and curves, and numbers and letters. Furthermore, the optical film contains a coordinate system that allows identification of each location on the film for cell-based assays, including cell growth, identification, and measurements under an optical microscope. Furthermore, an apparatus with the micro-pattern embedded optical film and a supporting part is described. Methods for making the optical film and apparatus are disclosed. A method for performing cell-based assays using the optical film or apparatus is shown.


Title: Real-time electronic cell sensing system and applications for cytoxicity profiling and compound assays

Number: 20050213374

Filed: Feb. 9, 2005

Inventors: Xiao Xu, Yama Abassi, and Xiaobo Wang (Acea Biosciences)

According to its abstract, the patent application is for devices, systems, and methods for assaying cells using cell-substrate impedance monitoring. In one aspect, the invention provides cell-substrate impedance monitoring devices that comprise electrode arrays on a nonconducting substrate, in which each of the arrays has an approximately uniform electrode resistance across the entire array. In another aspect, the invention provides cell-substrate monitoring systems comprising one or more cell-substrate monitoring devices comprising multiple wells each having an electrode array, an impedance analyzer, a device station that connects arrays of individual wells to the impedance analyzer, and software for controlling the device station and impedance analyzer. In another aspect, the invention provides cellular assays that use impedance monitoring to detect changes in cell behavior or state. The methods can be used to test the effects of compounds on cells, such as in cytotoxicity assays. Methods of cytotoxicity profiling of compounds are also provided.


Title: Optical analytic measurement device for fluorescence measurements in multisample carriers

Number: 20050218338

Filed: April 1, 2005

Inventors: Juergen Wulf, Eberhard Dietzsch, and Thomas Moore (CyBio)

According to its abstract, the patent application is for a device for optical analytic measurement in a multisample carrier, particularly for measuring fluorescence or bioluminescence. The object of the invention [is] to find a novel possibility for measuring fluorescence or luminescence in multisample carriers, wherein, during excitation of all of the wells, the secondary radiation of each well is measured simultaneously without impermissible contributions of background radiation, which falsify the characteristic emission of the sample material. This goal is met by directing the excitation light from a light source unit on the multisample carrier coaxially in a ring-shaped manner around an optical axis, wherein the optical axis is oriented in the direction of a surface normal of the multisample carrier and coaxial to the direction of the readout beam path. In addition, a ring mirror unit with at least one curved ring mirror is arranged coaxial to the optical axis in such a way that the excitation light illuminates the multisample carrier homogeneously on all sides at an oblique incident angle, the abstract states.


Title: Protein-protein interactions for pharmacological profiling

Number: 20050221280

Filed: April 8, 2005

Inventors: John Westwick, Brigitte Keon, Marnie MacDonald, and Stephen Michnick (Odyssey Thera)

According to its abstract, the patent application is for methods for performing pharmacological profiling of a chemical compound, in particular to improve drug safety and efficacy at an early stage in the drug development process. The chemical compound may be a test compound, drug lead, known drug, or toxicant. The compound is profiled against a panel of assays. Preferred embodiments of the invention include high-content assays for protein-protein interactions. The compositions and methods of the invention can be used to identify pathways underlying drug efficacy, safety, and toxicity; and to effect attrition of novel compounds with undesirable or toxic properties. The compositions and methods of the invention can also be used to identify new uses of therapeutic agents, to screen libraries of chemical compounds, to perform lead optimization, and to perform studies of structure-activity relationships in the context of intact cells. The compositions and methods of the invention can be applied to any test compound, drug, drug target, pathway, and therapeutic indication, the abstract states.


Title: Novel cell-based assays employing voltage and calcium dyes

Number: 20050221426

Filed: Nov. 1, 2004

Inventors: Yong Yao, Liang Cao, Jianming Lu, and Isabel Llorente (Aptus Pharmaceuticals, now defunct)

According to its abstract, the patent application is for novel compositions and methods employing cyclic nucleotide-gated channels, fluorescence dyes, and other indicators in detecting changes of intracellular cAMP levels, for instance in response to the stimulation of G-protein-coupled receptors. CNG mutants comprising one or more pore mutations that enhance sensitivity to cAMP and decrease divalent cation-mediated blockage are used in a variety of assays, including detection of G-protein-coupled receptor activity. Also disclosed are novel dye quencher formulations that are particularly suited for cell-based assays of protein interactions, the abstract states.

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