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Tosk, Duke, NYU, and MIT Are Among Recent US Patent Recipients


Tosk has been awarded US Patent No. 6,855,504, “In vivo high-throughput toxicology screening method.”

Patrick Fogarty is the inventor listed on the patent.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a high-throughput toxicology screening method, in which at least 10 different compound compositions are tested simultaneously. Each compound composition is tested by contacting it with a plurality — for example, from about 10 to 1000 — of non-mammalian multi-cellular organisms, and determining the effect of the compound composition on the organisms, the abstract states. The multi-cellular organisms employed in the subject methods are small, have differentiated tissues and organs, and have a rapid generation time. The subject high-throughput screening methods find use in a variety of applications, and are particularly suited for use in the toxicology screening of libraries of compounds, such as libraries of combinatorially produced compounds, the abstract states.

Duke University has been awarded US Patent No. 6,855,550, “Expression of G-protein coupled receptors in yeast.”

Inventors listed on the patent are Klim King, Henrik Dohlman, Marc Caron, and Robert Lefkowitz.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a transformed yeast cell containing a first heterologous DNA sequence that codes for a mammalian G-protein coupled receptor, and a second heterologous DNA sequence that codes for a mammalian G-protein a-subunit. The first and second heterologous DNA sequences are capable of expression in the cell, but the cell is incapable of expressing an endogenous G-protein a-subunit. The cells are useful for screening compounds that affect the rate of dissociation of G-protein subunits in a cell, the abstract states. The patent also protects a novel DNA expression vector useful for making cells as described above. The vector contains a first segment comprising at least a fragment of the extreme amino-terminal coding sequence of a yeast G-protein coupled receptor. A second segment is positioned downstream from the first segment (and in correct reading frame therewith), with the second segment comprising a DNA sequence encoding a heterologous G-protein coupled receptor, the abstract states.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been awarded US Patent No. 6,855,551, “Biological applications of quantum dots.”

Inventors listed on the patent are Moungi Bawendi, Vikram Sundar, and Frederic Mikulec.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a composition comprising fluorescent semiconductor nanocrystals associated to a compound, wherein the nanocrystals have a characteristic spectral emission; said spectral emission is tunable to a desired wavelength by controlling the size of the nanocrystal; and said emission provides information about a biological state or event.

New York University has been awarded US Patent No. 6,855,807, “Heterodimeric opioid G-protein coupled receptors.”

Inventors listed on the patent are Lakshmi Devi and Bryen Jordan.

According to its abstract, the patent protects opioid receptors that form functional heterodimers with each other and with other G-protein coupled receptors, such as dopamine receptors, adrenergic receptors, or chemokine receptors. These receptors can be exploited for high-throughput screening of compounds to identify heterodimer opioid receptor modulators (agonists and antagonists). The patent also protects the identification of novel heterodimer receptor ligands and synergistic compositions, which can provide strategies for analgesia, narcotic addiction, hypertension, HIV infection, and immune system function, the abstract states.


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