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U of Chicago, Cadus Technologies, Surface Logic, Brown U Win US Patents

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The University of Chicago has been awarded US Patent No. 6,863,406, “Apparatus and method for fabricating, sorting, and integrating materials with holographic optical traps.”

Inventors listed on the patent are David Grier and Eric Dufresene. Grier chairs the scientific advisory board of Arryx, a Chicago-based biotech commercializing products based on Grier’s basic technology (see Inside Bioassays, 12/21/2004).

According to its abstract, the patent protects an apparatus and method for manipulating, effecting interaction of, photochemically transforming, and/or sorting small dielectric particles or other materials [including cells]. The apparatus and method involves use of one or more diffractive optical elements which each receive a laser beam and form a plurality of laser beams. These laser beams are operated on by a telescope lens system and then an objective lens element to create an array of optical traps for manipulating, effecting interaction of, photochemically transforming, and/or sorting small dielectric particles or other materials, the abstract states.


Cadus Technologies has been awarded US Patent No. 6,864,060, “Yeast cells expressing modified G proteins and methods of use therefore.”

Inventors listed on the patent are Dana Fowlkes, James Broach, John Manfredi, Jeremy Paul, Joshua Truehart, Christine Klein, and Andrew Murphy.

According to its abstract, the patent protects novel yeast cells which are useful for the expression of heterologous G-protein coupled receptors. The yeast cells can be used in screening assays to screen for modulators of G protein coupled receptors, the abstract states. Specifically, the yeast cells express a heterologous G-protein coupled receptor and mutant and/or chimeric G-protein subunit molecules, which serve to functionally integrate the heterologous into the pheromone-signaling pathway of the yeast cell. The patent also protects the expression of heterologous G-protein coupled receptors, which are functionally integrated into the yeast cell membrane using a yeast a-factor leader sequence. The patent also protects drug discovery assays using the subject yeast cells, the abstract states.


GeneTrol Biotherapeutics has been awarded US Patent No. 6,864,061, “Method for screening compounds for anti-inflammatory activity.”

Inventors listed on the patent are Allan Lau and Michael Kiefer.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a method and cell line for screening test compounds for anti-inflammatory activity. The cell line is a human cell line capable of producing a selected cytokine associated with an inflammatory response in humans, and transfected with (1) a vector containing DNA encoding a cytokine regulatory factor under the control of a first promoter; and (2) a vector containing DNA encoding a detectable-marker protein, under the control of a second promoter which is responsive to cytokine induction. In the screening method, the cells are cultured under conditions of cytokine regulatory factor over-expression and cytokine induction. Addition of a test compound that results in a diminution of the detectable-marker protein is evidence of anti-inflammatory activity, the abstract states.


Surface Logix has been awarded US Patent No. 6,864,065, “Assays for monitoring cell motility in real time.”

Inventors listed on the patent are Enoch Kim, Gregory Kirk, Olivier Schueller, and Emanuele Ostuni.

According to its abstract, the patent protects devices; devices for arraying biomolecules, including cells; methods for arraying biomolecules; assays for monitoring cellular movement; and systems for monitoring cellular movement. The devices include a support; a first layer configured in fluid-tight contact with the support, the first layer having an upper surface and defining a pattern of micro-orifices, the abstract states. Each micro-orifice of the pattern of micro-orifices has walls and defines a micro-region on the support when the first layer is placed in fluid-tight contact with the support such that the walls of each micro-orifice and the micro-region on the support together define a micro-well. The devices also include a second layer configured to be placed in fluid-tight contact with the upper surface of the first layer and defining a pattern of macro-orifices. Each micro-orifice has walls and defines a macro-region when the first layer is placed in fluid-tight contact with the support and the second layer is placed in fluid-tight contact with the first layer such that the walls of the macro-orifice and the macro-region together define a macro-well, the abstract states.


Brown University has been awarded US Patent No. 6,864,224, “Kinase inhibitors and methods of use in screening assays and modulation of cell proliferation and growth.”

Inventors listed on the patent are John Sedivy, Walter Kolch, and Kam Chi Yeung.

According to its abstract, the patent protects the discovery of a novel amino acid sequence motif, termed the RKIP motif, and the family of proteins defined by the presence of that motif. Proteins comprising the RKIP motif modulate kinases involved in signal transduction pathways, the abstract states. The RKIP motif forms the basis for screening assays for the identification of agents useful for modulating signal transduction pathways subject to RKIP family mediated regulation, and for the diagnosis and treatment of disorders involving inappropriate activities of pathways subject to RKIP family medicated regulation, the abstract states.

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