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StemCells California, Amgen, and Corning Win US Patents Related to Cell-Based Assays

StemCells California has been awarded US Patent No. 7,105,150, “In vivo screening methods using enriched neural stem cells.”
Inventors listed on the patent are David Buck, Nobuko Uchida, and Irving Weissman.
According to its abstract, the patent protects enriched neural stem and progenitor cell populations, and methods for identifying, isolating, and enriching for neural stem cells using reagents that bind to cell surface markers.

Amgen has been awarded US Patent No. 7,105,313, “Cell-based drug screens for regulators of gene expression.”
Inventors listed on the patent are Bei Shan, Marc Learned, Catherine Amaral, Steven McKnight, Fabienne de la Brousse, and Jin-Long Chen.
According to its abstract, the patent protects methods and compositions for screening for pharmacological agents that regulate gene expression in mammals. An exemplary assay involves (a) contacting a mammalian cell comprising a knock-in mutant of a targeted native allele encoding a reporter of gene expression, wherein the expression of the reporter is under the control of the gene expression regulatory sequences of the native allele, with a candidate agent under conditions whereby, but for the presence of the agent, the reporter is expressed at a first expression level; and, (b) measuring the expression of the reporter to obtain a second expression level, wherein a difference between the first and second expression levels indicates that the candidate agent modulates gene expression.

Corning has been awarded US Patent No. 7,105,347, “Method and device for protein delivery into cells.”
Inventors listed on the patent are Ye Fang, Fang Lai, Laurent Picard, and Brian Webb.
According to its abstract, the patent protects methods for performing surface-mediated protein delivery into living cells, and fabricating protein-transfected cell cluster arrays. The method comprises providing a protein-containing mixture; depositing the mixture onto a surface at defined locations; affixing the mixture to the surface as microspots; and plating cells onto the surface in sufficient density and under conditions for the proteins to be delivered into the cells. The protein-containing mixture comprises any suitable amino acid sequence, including peptides, proteins, protein-domains, antibodies, or protein-nucleic acid conjugates, et cetera, with a carrier reagent. Protein-transfected cell arrays may be used for rapid and direct screening of protein or enzymatic functions or any given intracellular protein interaction in the natural environment of a living cell, as well as for high-throughput screening of other biological and chemical analytes that affect the functions of these proteins, the abstract states.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.