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Vertex, Cytoplex, Rigel, Clontech, Takara, and PerkinElmer Among Recent US Patent Winners


Vertex Pharmaceuticals has been awarded US Patent No. 6,969,449, "Multi-well plate and electrode assemblies for ion channel assays."

Inventors listed on the patent are Michael Maher and Jesus Gonzalez.

According to its abstract, the patent protects plate and electrode assemblies that include configurations allowing for relatively uniform electric field production. The electrodes may comprise strips of conductive material plated onto the bottom surface of sample wells, or they may comprise plate electrodes extending down into the well. In some embodiments, the electric field strength varies by less than about 10 percent from a mean field intensity over at least about 20 percent of the surface area of the bottom surface of a sample well, the abstract states.

Cytoplex Biosciences has been awarded US Patent No. 6,969,489, "Microarray for high throughput screening."

Alex Freeman is the lone inventor listed on the patent.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a system in which array-based fluid is stored in through-holes that extend through a substrate. Combined capillary and hydrophyllic forces are used to retain the fluid and also transfer it to other substrates of similar type. In another embodiment, vacuum and pressure forces are used to introduce the fluid and remove the fluid from the known through-holes and transfer the remaining fluid to other substrates. In another embodiment, electrokinetic forces are used to retain and move the fluids across the substrates via the through-holes. The substrates are aligned and the fluids are transferred or mixed based on the above techniques, the abstract states.

Rigel Pharmaceuticals has been awarded US Patent No. 6,969,584, "Combinatorial enzymatic complexes."

Inventors listed on the patent are Garry Nolan and Donald Payan.

According to its abstract, the patent protects the formation of novel in vivo combinatorial enzyme complexes for use in screening candidate drug agents for bioactivity.

Clontech Laboratories (Takara Bio) has been awarded US Patent No. 6,969,597, "Nucleic acids encoding non-aggregating fluorescent proteins and methods for using the same."

Inventors listed on the patent include Sergey Lukyanov, Konstantin Lukyanov, Yuriy Yanushevich, Alexandr Savitsky, and Arcady Fradkov.

According to its abstract, the patent protects nucleic acid compositions encoding non-aggregating chromo/fluoroproteins and mutants thereof, as well as the encoded proteins. The proteins of interest are polypeptides that are non-aggregating colored and/or fluorescent proteins, where the non-aggregating feature arises from the modulation of residues in the N-terminus of the protein, and the chromo and/or fluorescent feature arises from the interaction of two or more residues of the protein. The patent also protects fragments of the subject nucleic acids and the peptides encoded thereby, as well as antibodies to the subject proteins and transgenic cells and organisms. The subject protein and nucleic acid compositions find use in a variety of different applications. Kits for use in such applications are provided in the patent, its abstract states.

Sergey Yakovenko, a professor in the department of biophysics at Moscow State University, has been awarded US Patent No. 6,969,604, "Electroporation chamber."

According to its abstract, the patent protects an electroporation chamber wherein cells are borne by a fluid medium through a conductive mesh receiving electrode (with the mesh size being such that it allows passage of cells of the desired size/type) and into the chamber. The cells are then captured on a conductive mesh capturing electrode having a mesh size which retains the desired cells. The electrodes are then charged to effect electroporation or other operations within the captured cells between the electrodes. If desired, different fluid media may flow through the electrodes and chamber (and over the cells) during such activities. When operations are completed, fluid flow may be reversed to carry the treated cells back out of the chamber through the receiving electrode, the abstract states.

Packard Instrument Company (PerkinElmer) has been awarded US Patent No. 6,969,835, "Imaging assay analysis for microsamples."

Inventors listed on the patent are John Rushbrooke and Claire Hooper.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a system for imaging radiation emitted by an assay that couples into a photoelectric detector. The system includes a fiber optic bundle for conveying light to the detector, wherein a microlens, preferably a drum lens, is located at the impact end of the fiber optic bundle to match the field of view of the bundle to a potential area of interest in a sample, the abstract states.

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