Skip to main content

IP Roundup: Theranos, Mitsubishi Chemical Medience, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Affymetrix


Theranos of Palo Alto, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,202,697, "Medical device for analyte monitoring and drug delivery." An ingestible, implantable or wearable medical device is claimed. The device consists of a microarray that contains a bioactive agent capable of interacting with a disease marker biological analyte, and a reservoir that contains therapeutic agents and is capable of releasing the therapeutic agents from the device. Microchips are also described that consist of a microarray scanning device capable of obtaining physical parameter data of an interaction between the disease marker biological analyte with the bioactive agent; a biometric recognition device capable of comparing the physical parameter data with an analyte interaction profile; an interface device capable of facilitating communications between the microarray scanning device, biometric recognition device, and the therapeutic agent releasing device; and an energy source to power the medical device.

Mitsubishi Chemical Medience of Tokyo and Tokyo Medical and Dental University have received US Patent No. 8,202,720, "Model cell chip, apparatus for evaluating drug effect using the model cell chip and method of evaluating drug effect." A device is described for evaluating a drug effect enabling on-chip evaluation of the effect of a drug while the drug is acting on hERG-expressing cells. A myocardial toxicity test is also claimed, that enables in vitro myocardial toxicity testing. According to the patent, a pulsating cell population and hERG-expressing cells are isolated and arranged on a transparent substrate so that the two form gap junctions. The hERG-expressing cells are arranged on transparent electrodes provided on the transparent substrate, and exposed to a flow of a liquid containing a drug. The difference between the normal pulsation of hERG-expressing cells and the pulsation when a drug is acting on the cells is captured via electric signals obtained from electrodes, and the properties of the change in potential are evaluated.

Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,204,695, "Techniques for identifying, confirming, mapping, and categorizing polymers." According to the patent, an estimation of the fraction of first and second polymers in a sample of polymers can be calculated by inputting a hybridization value that is indicative of hybridization affinity of the polymers to probes complementary to the first polymer, and inputting a second hybridization value indicative of hybridization affinity of the polymers to probes that are complementary to the second polymer. The estimation of the fraction of the first and second polymers in the sample of polymers can then be calculated by dividing the first hybridization value by a sum of the first and second hybridization values. Estimations of the fractions of alleles in a sample can be clustered to form a fraction pattern usable for identifying, confirming, mapping, and genotyping sample nucleic acids.

The Scan

US Supports Patent Waivers

NPR reports that the Biden Administration has announced its support for waiving intellectual property protections for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Vaccines Versus Variants

Two studies find the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to be effective against viral variants, and Moderna reports on booster shots to combat variants.

CRISPR for What Ails You

The Wall Street Journal writes that CRISPR-based therapies could someday be used to treat common conditions like heart attacks.

Nature Papers Review Integration of Single-Cell Assay Data, Present Approach to Detect Rare Variants

In Nature this week: review of ways to integrate data from single-cell assays, and more.