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IP Update: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: Jun 3, 2010

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The US Department of Health and Human Services has been awarded US Patent No. 7,728,123, "Internal control nucleic acid molecule for nucleic acid amplification systems."

Michael Vickery, Angelo DePaola, and George Blackstone are the inventors listed on the patent.

The invention provides "an internal control nucleic acid molecule including at least one forward primer binding site, at least one reverse primer binding site, and at least one amplifiable region, wherein the forward primer binding site, the reverse primer binding site, and the amplifiable region are all randomly generated," according to the patent abstract. The patent also covers methods of using the internal control nucleic acid molecules and kits based on the invention.


Toshiba has been awarded US Patent No. 7,728,119, "Nucleotide primer set and nucleotide probe for detecting genotype of methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR)."

Naoko Nakamura, Keiko Ito, Masayoshi Takahashi, Koji Hashimoto, and Nobuhiro Gemma are the inventors listed on the patent.

The patent describes a nucleotide primer set for loop-mediated isothermal amplification used to detect genotypes of the C677T and A1298C SNPS in the MTHFR gene. The patent also provides a nucleotide probe for detecting an amplification product amplified by the primer set.


Becton Dickinson has been awarded US Patent No. 7,727,727, "Pretreatment method for extraction of nucleic acid from biological samples and kits therefore."

Matthew Collis, Donald Copertino, Karen Eckert, and Thomas Fort are the inventors listed on the patent.

The invention relates to methods for pretreating biological samples for extraction of nucleic acid. Specifically, it uses a combination of at least one protein denaturant with one or more of the following elements in order to extract the nucleic acid: at least one aprotic solvent; stepwise heating; and sample dilution.


GE has been awarded US Patent No. 7,727,722, "Ligation amplification."

John Nelson and Robert Scott Duthie are the inventors listed on the patent.

The patent covers methods and agents for ligation-based exponential ribonucleic acid amplification followed by detection using a nucleic acid polymerization reaction that employs terminal-phosphate-labeled nucleotides including three or more phosphates as substrates for nucleic acid polymerase.


The Molecular Research Center has been awarded US Patent No. 7,727,718, "Reagents for storage and preparation of samples for DNA analysis."

Piotr Chomczynski is the inventor listed on the patent.

The patent describes reagents and methods for storing and/or processing of biological samples for direct use in PCR and other DNA applications. The invention provides a method for storage and/or processing of nucleic acids, such as DNA, "from various sources, including but not limited to body fluids, various solutions, cells, plants, tissues, bacterial cell lysates containing plasmids, etc." In addition, the method includes reagents and methods employing glycols at alkaline pH "to process biological samples and make DNA usable in PCR without further sample purification," according to the patent abstract.


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Applied Biosystems (now Life Technologies) has been awarded US Patent No. 7,727,479, "Device for the carrying out of chemical or biological reactions."

Wolfgang Heimberg, Thomas Herrmann, Matthias Knulle, Markus Schurf, and Tilmann Wagner are the inventors listed on the patent.

Protects a thermocycler, described in the patent as "a device for the carrying out of chemical or biological reactions with a reaction vessel receiving element for receiving a microtiter plate with several reaction vessels, wherein the reaction vessel receiving element has several recesses arranged in a regular pattern to receive the respective reaction vessels, a heating device for heating the reaction vessel receiving element, and a cooling device for cooling the reaction vessel receiving element." According to the patent abstract, "the invention is characterized by the fact that the reaction vessel receiving element is divided into several segments. The individual segments are thermally decoupled from one another, and each segment is assigned a heating device which may be actuated independently of the others." The segmentation allows zones to be created and held at different temperatures.


BioMérieux has been awarded US Patent No. 7,723,078, "Method for the amplification and detection of HBV DNA using a transcription based amplification."

Birgit Alberta Louisa Maria Dieman, Inge Marjolein Frantzen, and Arnoldina Margaretha Wilhelmina Van Strijp are the inventors listed on the patent.

The invention provides a method for the transcription-based amplification of a target hepatitis B virus nucleic acid sequence.


Elitech Holding has been awarded US Patent No. 7,723,038, "Amplification methods."

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

The patent covers methods for amplification and monitoring of oligonucleotide amplification "in which a primer has an overlap with one or more bases of a detection probe."


The Penn State Research Foundation has been awarded US Patent No. 7,723,031, "Methods for nucleic acid manipulation."

Stephen Benkovic and Frank Salinas are the inventors listed on the patent.

The patent describes a method for replicating and amplifying a target nucleic acid sequence that involves "the formation of a recombination intermediate without the prior denaturing of a nucleic acid duplex through the use of a recombination factor." The recombination intermediate is treated with a high-fidelity polymerase to permit the replication and amplification of the target nucleic acid sequence.


Alexion Pharmaceuticals has been awarded US Patent No. RE41,365 (a reissue of US Patent No. 6,919,189), "Nested oligonucleotides containing a hairpin for nucleic acid amplification."

Katherine Bowdish, Shana Frederickson, John McWhirter, Toshiaki Maruyama, and Ying-Chi Lin are the inventors listed on the patent.

The patent describes templates that are engineered to contain a predetermined sequence and a hairpin structure that are provided by a nested oligonucleotide extension reaction. Single primer amplification is used to amplify a target sequence within the engineered template.