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BD, Qiagen, MSKCC, Life Tech, Gen-Probe, Roche, MIT, Smiths Detection and Others Win US Patents

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Geneohm Sciences Canada (Becton Dickinson) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,067,207, "Species-specific, genus-specific, and universal DNA probes and amplification primers to rapidly detect and identify common bacterial and fungal pathogens and associated antibiotic resistance genes from clinical specimens for diagnosis in microbiology laboratories."

Michel Bergeron, Francois Picard, Marc Oulette, and Paul Roy are named as inventors on the patent.


Qiagen has been awarded US Patent No. 8,067,206, "Enhanced coamplification of nucleic acids."

Holger Engel and Dirk Loffert are named as inventors on the patent.

The patent relates generally to the field of nucleic acid chemistry. More specifically, it relates to a method for enhancing the performance of coamplification reactions, e.g., multiplex PCR reactions.


Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has been awarded US Patent No. 8,067,175, "Methods and compositions for detecting a drug-resistant EGFR mutant."

Harold Varmus, Katerina Politi, William Pao, and Vincent Miller are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes PCR primers and methods directed to detecting the EGFR "C-to-T" mutant at the position corresponding to base 2,369 of EGFR cDNA. The invention provides a PCR primer that hybridizes under suitable PCR conditions to a polynucleotide sequence 5' in each respective strand to a mutation of an EGFR gene that encodes a substitution of threonine by methionine at position 790 of the EGFR polypeptide. The invention also provides a PCR primer that hybridizes to a sequence that includes a mutant T at the position corresponding to base 2,369 of EGFR cDNA but not to a second EGFR polynucleotide containing a wild-type C. The invention also provides several methods and kits for detecting a mutant EGFR gene in a sample. These methods and kits include probing the sample with a means for selectively detecting and identifying a nucleotide sequence comprising a mutant T at the position corresponding to base 2,369 of EGFR cDNA. The methods and kits are also useful to predict resistance to the therapeutic effects of gefitinib or erlotinib in a subject suffering from or suspected of having a cancer.


Ahram Biosystems has been awarded US Patent No. 8,067,174, "Polymerase chain reaction method for amplifying a DNA template."

Hyun Jin Hwang and Jeong Hee Kim are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to a DNA polymerase immobilized by covalent bonding. More particularly, the invention relates to an immobilized DNA polymerase whose activity is maximally preserved by masking the active site of the DNA polymerase and optimizing interaction of the masked molecule to the substrate material. In one embodiment, the average activity of the immobilized DNA polymerase is more than approximately 10 percent relative to that of the solution phase DNA polymerase. The invention further provides methods and kits for performing PCR.


GeneNews has been awarded US Patent No. 8,067,173, "Method of profiling gene expression in a healthy subject."

Choong-Chin Liew is named as inventor on the patent.

Relates to detecting and measuring gene transcripts in blood. Specifically provides RT-PCR analysis performed on a drop of blood to detect, diagnose, and monitor diseases using tissue-specific primers. The present invention also describes methods by which delineation of the sequence and/or quantitation of the expression levels of disease-associated genes allows for an immediate and accurate diagnostic/prognostic test for disease or to assess the effect of a particular treatment regimen.


Arryx has been awarded US Patent No. 8,067,170, "Binding method and apparatus for sorting objects."

Tania Chakrabarty is named as inventor on the patent.

Relates to a method and apparatus for sorting objects, including providing a sample with wanted and unwanted objects; coating a surface of a sample holder with an antibody; placing an eluted sample on the sample holder; binding an antigen in the wanted objects with the antibody on the surface of the sample holder to sort the objects into wanted and unwanted objects; separating the wanted objects; and performing PCR-based short tandem repeat analysis on the wanted objects. In one embodiment, holographic optical trapping is used to further sort the wanted objects. In other embodiments, the wanted objects are sperm and the antibody is human sperm-specific, and the PCR is single-cell PCR-based STR analysis. In still other embodiments, the binding is direct or indirect, ligands are used to bind to object-specific organomolecules, and protein A or protein G are used to bind the antibody.


Epoch Biosciences has been awarded US Patent No. 8,067,177, "Amplification methods."

Walt Mahoney, Nicolaas Vermeulen, and Irina Afonina are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods for amplifying and monitoring oligonucleotide amplification in which a primer has an overlap with one or more bases of a detection probe.


Applied Biosystems (Life Technologies) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,067,165, "Binary probe and clamp composition and methods for target hybridization detection."

Kenneth Livak, Michael Egholm, and Michael Hunkapiller are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes binary probe and clamp compositions and methods for target hybridization detection. When the probe is a substrate for exonuclease cleavage, the composition provides quantitation and detection of PCR products by real-time and end-point measurements. When the probe is an amplification primer, the composition provides an improved method for labeling and detecting PCR products. Probes and clamps may be labeled with fluorescent dyes, quenchers, hybridization-stabilizing moieties, chemiluminescent dyes, and affinity ligands. Clamps may be nucleic acid analogs, such as 2-aminoethylglycine PNA.

Life Technologies has also been awarded US Patent No. 8,062,848, "Nucleic acid-free thermostable enzymes and methods of production thereof."

Adam Goldstein and John Hughes, Jr., are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides thermostable enzymes such as DNA polymerases and restriction endonucleases that are substantially free from contamination with nucleic acids. The invention also provides methods for producing these enzymes, and kits comprising these enzymes that may be used in amplifying or sequencing nucleic acid molecules, including through the use of PCR.


Riken and DNAForm have been awarded US Patent No. 8,067,162, "Primer, primer set, and nucleic acid amplification method and mutation detection method using the same."

Yoshihide Hayashizaki, Akimitsu Okamoto, Alexander Lezhava, and Yasushi Kogo are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides a primer that can effectively detect, for example, the double helix structure of a nucleic acid. The primer is a labeled nucleic acid containing at least one structure represented by a specific formula further described in the patent.


Gen-Probe has been awarded US Patent No. 8,063,197, "Compositions and methods for detection of hepatitis A virus nucleic acid."

James Carlson and Steven Brentano are named as inventors on the patent.

Discloses nucleic acid oligomeric sequences and in vitro nucleic acid amplification and detection methods and kits for detecting the presence of hepatitis A virus RNA sequences in samples.


Roche Molecular Systems has been awarded US Patent No. 8,062,884, "Handling kit for analyzing a liquid sample by nucleic acid amplification."

Emad Sarofim is named as inventor on the patent.

Discloses a handling kit for analyzing a liquid sample, especially by nucleic acid amplification. The kit comprises a disposable sample holding and processing device dimensioned for use in an apparatus for analyzing a liquid sample, and a sample transfer tip for transferring liquid into the disposable device. The disposable device has a sample preparation chamber with an outlet and an insertion opening, which is adapted to receive the sample transfer tip.


Alere San Diego has been awarded US Patent No. 8,062,850, "Methods for multiplexing recombinase polymerase amplification."

Olaf Piepenburg, Colin Williams, and Niall Armes are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods and reagents for rapid multiplex RPA reactions and improved methods for detecting multiplex RPA reaction products. In addition, the disclosure provides new methods for eliminating carryover contamination between RPA processes.


Johns Hopkins University has been awarded US Patent No. 8,062,849, "Quantitative multiplex methylation-specific PCR."

Saraswati Sukumar, Mary Jo Fackler, and Theresa Swift-Scanlan are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods for diagnosing in a subject a condition, such as a carcinoma, sarcoma, or leukemia, associated with hypermethylation of genes, by isolating the genes from tissue containing as few as 50 to 1,000 tumor cells. The use of quantitative multiplex methylation-specific PCR can quantitatively evaluate multiple genes from samples usually yielding sufficient DNA for analyses of only one or two genes, the patent's abstract states. DNA sequences isolated from the sample are simultaneously co-amplified in an initial multiplex round of PCR, and the methylation status of individual hypermethylation-prone gene promoter sequences is then determined separately or in multiplex using a real-time PCR round that is methylation status-specific. Within genes of the panel, the level of promoter hypermethylation as well as the incidence of promoter hypermethylation can be determined and the level of genes in the panel can be scored cumulatively. The QM-MSP method is adaptable for high-throughput automated technology.


The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Smiths Detection have been awarded US Patent No. 8,062,846, "Apparatus for isolating a nucleic acid from a sample."

Laura Bortolin, Lalitha Parameswaran, James Harper, Johanna Bobrow, Mark Hollis, Drew Brown, Eric Clasen, and John Smiths are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides an apparatus for preparing a nucleic acid component of a sample for amplification. The apparatus includes a porous support having an agent that deactivates a nucleic acid amplification inhibitor component of the sample. The apparatus further includes a housing with an opening and defining an interior. The interior of the housing is in fluid communication with the porous support, and at least a portion of a fluid directed through the opening is directed through at least a portion of the porous support. The apparatus also includes a magnetic substrate for separating nucleic acid from a sample.

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.