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IP Watch: Biocartis, Biosearch, Hologic's Gen-Probe, Luminex, Rubicon, Others Win US Patents

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Biocartis of Lausanne, Switzerland, has been awarded US Patent No. 8,441,629, "Optical detection system for monitoring rtPCR reaction."

Aleksey Kolesnychenko, Jorrit De Vries, Jozef Versleegers, Michiel De Jong, Theodoor Haddeman, and Louis Stroucken are named as inventors.

Describes an optical detection system for monitoring real-time PCR reactions in a plurality of sample chambers with a plurality of optical units. Due to a relative movement, the optical units are relative to the sample chambers, and color multiplexing and space multiplexing are combined to optically detect pathogens in a sample during the PCR process and deliver a quantitative result.


Biosearch Technologies has been awarded US Patent No. 8,440,399, "Dark quenchers for donor-acceptor energy transfer."

Ronald Cook, Matt Lyttle, and Daren Dick are named as inventors.

Provides a family of dark quenchers, termed black hole quenchers, or BHQs, that are efficient quenchers of excited state energy but are themselves substantially non-fluorescent. Also provides methods of using the BHQs, probes incorporating the BHQs, and methods of using the probes.


Gen-Probe (Hologic) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,440,429, "Method for detecting the presence of a nucleic acid in a sample."

Kelly Ammann, Ralph Burns, Ernest Hansberry, Glenn Horner, Cheryl Jakub, John Kling, Donald Nieglos, Robert Schneider, and Robert Smith are named as inventors.

Describes an automated method for preparing and amplifying a sequence contained in a nucleic acid present in a sample. The nucleic acid is prepared in a receptacle that is part of a unit that includes a plurality of receptacles and holds a removable contact-limiting element for aspirating a fluid component of the sample from the receptacle.


Luminex has been awarded US Patent No. 8,440,406, "Amplification primers with non-standard bases for increased reaction specificity."

Scott Johnson, Kathleen Engelbrecht, and Tiruvidaimarudur Ramasubramanian are named as inventors.

Describes methods for increasing the annealing specificity of an amplification reaction using iso-base amplification primers, or IAPs, which contain an iso-region capable of regulating sequence-specific annealing thereby enhancing primer-template hybridization for sequence-specific amplification of nucleotides.


Rubicon Genomics has been awarded US Patent No. 8,440,404, "Methods and compositions for generating and amplifying DNA libraries for sensitive detection and analysis of DNA methylation."

Vladimir Makarov, Emmanuel Kamberov, Tong Sun, Jonathon Pinter, Brendan Tarrier, Eric Bruening, Takao Kurihara, Tim Tesmer, and Joseph M'Mwirichia are named as inventors.

Relates to a variety of methods and compositions for obtaining epigenetic information, such as DNA methylation patterns, through the preparation, amplification, and analysis of methylome libraries. In particular, the method involves preparing a DNA molecule by digesting it with at least one methylation-sensitive restriction enzyme; incorporating a nucleic acid molecule into at least some of the digested DNA molecules; and amplifying one or more of the DNA molecules. The nucleic acid molecule incorporation step involves either (i) incorporating at least one primer from a plurality of primers that have a 5' constant sequence and a 3' variable sequence, wherein the primers are substantially non-self-complementary and substantially non-complementary to other primers in the plurality; or (ii) incorporating an oligonucleotide having an inverted repeat and a loop under conditions wherein it becomes blunt-end ligated to one strand of the digested DNA molecule, followed by polymerization from a 3' hydroxyl group present in a nick in the oligonucleotide-linked molecule.


Meiji Seika Pharma of Tokyo has been awarded US Patent No. 8,440,400, "Process for amplifying DNA in cells."

Takeshi Murakami, Naomi Sumida, and Koji Yanai are named as inventors.

Relates to a process for efficiently amplifying a giant DNA and, more particularly, for amplifying DNA in a cell. The process comprises amplifying the target DNA in the presence of DNAs selected from (i) DNA encoding a protein selected from a particular group further described in the patent; (ii) DNA consisting of a specific nucleotide sequence further described in the patent; and (iii) DNA hybridizing to the nucleotide sequence of the same specific nucleotide sequence under stringent conditions, the patent's abstract states.


OncoMeDx has been awarded US Patent No. 8,440,396, "Method enabling use of extracellular RNA extracted from plasma or serum to detect, monitor, or evaluate cancer."

Michael Kopreski is named as inventor.

Relates to the use of tumor-derived or -associated extracellular RNA found circulating in the plasma or serum fraction of blood for detecting, monitoring, or evaluating cancer or premalignant conditions. Specifically, the invention enables the extraction of circulating RNA from plasma or serum and utilizes nucleic acid amplification assays to identify, detect, infer, monitor, or evaluate any neoplasm, benign, premalignant, or malignant, in humans or other animals, which might be associated with that RNA. Further, the invention allows the qualitative or quantitative detection of tumor-derived or -associated extracellular RNA circulating in the plasma or serum of humans or animals with or without any prior knowledge of the presence of cancer or premalignant tissue.

The Scan

Plan Rebuffed

The Associated Press reports China has rejected the World Health Organization's proposal to include the lab-leak theory in the next phase of its investigation into the origins of SARS-CoV-2.

Opossum Change

Researchers from Riken have used CRISPR to edit marsupial genomes, as Technology Review reports.

In the Ice

Cosmos magazine reports that researchers have uncovered more than two dozen ancient viruses in a Tibetan glacier.

Nature Papers Present Method to Uncover Differential RNA Modifications, Neutrophils in Innate Immune Response

In Nature this week: computational approach to identifying differential RNA modifications, and more.