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IP Update: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: Aug 12, 2010

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Princeton University has been awarded US Patent No. 7,772,383, "Chemical PCR: Compositions for enhancing polynucleotide amplification reactions."

Raj Chakrabarti and Clarence Schutt are listed as inventors on the patent.

Describes a composition for performing a polynucleotide amplification reaction at low temperature, including a polynucleotide amplification reaction mixture into which is incorporated a sufficiently high concentration of a low molecular weight compound selected from the group consisting of amides, sulfones, sulfoxides, and diols. The patent also describes a composition for enhancing a polynucleotide amplification reaction, including a polynucleotide amplification reaction mixture into which is incorporated a low molecular weight diol in an amount effective to enhance the amplification.


Point-2-Point Genomics has been awarded US Patent No. 7,771,975, "Polynucleotide analysis using combinatorial PCR."

Brendan Hamill is the sole inventor listed on the patent.

Describes a two-step process for analyzing polynucleotides by chain extension of multiple polynucleotide primers attached to solid supports. The method involves first performing PCR of the samples in the presence of multiple oligonucleotides in solution, the oligonucleotides of both sets being similar or identical. This produces immobilized single-strand polynucleotides containing genetic sequence data derived from sample molecules. In a second step, support-bound polynucleotides are interrogated by hybridization with a single labeled oligonucleotide probe or by second-strand synthesis with a primer-dependent polymerase using an oligonucleotide primer and nucleotide monomers, in which either or both of the primer and nucleotide monomers are labeled. Incorporation of label demonstrates the presence of two separate defined-sequence primers within the sample polynucleotide. The presence or absence within the sample of the multiple combinations of primers is demonstrable in a single experiment by use of suitable apparatus, such as an oligonucleotide array.


Fred Kramer, a researcher at the Public Health Research Institute Center at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and New Jersey Medical School, has been awarded US Patent No. 7,771,949, "Homogenous multiplex screening kits."

The patent has been assigned to PHRI Properties.

Describes kits for highly multiplexed homogeneous in vitro screening assays for numerous possible nucleic acid targets, any of which might be present in a sample, that utilize fluorescent hybridization probes. The probes are combinatorially coded from a panel of fluorophores by subdividing each probe into portions and differently labeling each portion such that, when portions are combined, each probe has a unique code. The kits may include reagents and primers for target amplification and real-time detection.


NuGen Technologies has been awarded US Patent No. 7,771,946, "Methods, kits, and compositions for single primer linear isothermal amplification of nucleic acid sequences."

Nurith Kurn is the sole inventor listed on the patent.

Provides methods for isothermal amplification of RNA. The methods are particularly suitable for amplifying a plurality of RNA species in a sample, and employ a composite primer, a second primer, and strand displacement to generate multiple copies of DNA products comprising sequences complementary to an RNA sequence of interest. In another aspect, the methods employ a single primer (which is a composite primer) and strand displacement to generate multiple copies of DNA products comprising sequences complementary to an RNA sequence of interest. In some embodiments, a transcription step is included to generate multiple copies of sense RNA of an RNA sequence of interest. The methods are useful for preparation of nucleic acid libraries and substrates for analysis of gene expression of cells in biological samples. The invention also provides compositions and kits for practicing the amplification methods, as well as methods that use the amplification products.


NuGen has also been awarded US Patent No. 7,771,934, "Methods and compositions for generation of multiple copies of nucleic acid sequences and methods of detection thereof."

Nurith Kurn is the sole inventor listed on the patent.

Provides novel isothermal methods of generating multiple copies of, detecting, and/or quantifying nucleic acid sequences of interest based on limited primer extension or attachment of oligonucleotide pairs using composite RNA/DNA primers. Also provides methods for generating multiple copies of and/or detecting and/or quantifying nucleic acid sequences, wherein products of primer extension or attachment of oligonucleotide pairs comprising a cleavable portion are generated, and wherein cleavage of the products results in dissociation of cleaved products from target polynucleotides. The invention further provides compositions, kits, and systems for practicing these methods.

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