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IP Watch: Biotec Pharmacon, Abbott, Siemens, Leica, Novartis, Sequenom, Life Tech Win US Patents


Biotec Pharmacon of Tromsø, Norway, has been awarded US Patent No. 8,551,753, "Method of removing nucleic acid contamination in reverse transcription and amplification reactions."

Olav Lanes, Morten Elde, and Dag Rune Gjellesvik are named as inventors.

The patent provides methods of removing nucleic acid contamination from reverse transcription reactions and hot-start PCR, wherein the hot-start PCR is a "barrier hot-start PCR" setup and/or involves a hot-start DNA polymerase. The methods use a DNase that is substantially irreversibly inactivated by heating at a temperature of about 50°C for five minutes, and that is substantially specific for double-stranded DNA. The patent also discloses nucleic acids encoding said DNase and kits or compositions comprising said DNase or said nucleic acid.

Ibis Biosciences (Abbott) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,551,738, "Systems and methods for rapid identification of nucleic acid variants."

David Ecker, Steven Hofstadler, Thomas Hall, and Kristin Sannes-Lowery are named as inventors.

The invention, according to the patent's abstract, addresses the need for a nucleic acid analysis method that is both specific and rapid, and that requires no nucleic acid sequencing. Specifically, the invention provides a method of nucleic acid amplification of overlapping sub-segments of a nucleic acid followed by molecular mass measurement of resulting amplification products by mass spectrometry, and determination of the base compositions of the amplification products.

Siemens has been awarded US Patent No. 8,551,737, "Method for analyzing amplified nucleic acids."

Walter Gumbrecht, Peter Paulicka, and Manfred Stanzel are named as inventors.

An example embodiment of the invention discloses a method for analyzing nucleic acids in a microfluidic device. The method includes: (a) amplifying nucleic acids in a first chamber in the microfluidic device; (b) bringing the amplified nucleic acids into contact with an additive, including monovalent cations and an Mg2+ ion-binding agent, the additive being provided in a second chamber in the microfluidic device; and (c) hybridizing the amplified nucleic acids on at least one probe oligonucleotide.

Leica Biosystems Newcastle of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK, has been awarded US Patent Nos. 8,551,708 and 8,551,710, both entitled "Methods for localized in situ detection of mRNA."

Mats Bernitz, Chatarina Larsson, and Ida Grundberg are named as inventors on both patents.

In general, the patents relate to the detection of RNA in a sample of cells and, more particularly, the localized detection of RNA in situ. The method relies on the conversion of RNA to complementary DNA prior to the targeting of the cDNA with a padlock probe(s). The hybridization of the padlock probe(s) relies on the nucleotide sequence of the cDNA, which is derived from the corresponding nucleotide sequence of the target RNA. Rolling circle amplification of the subsequently circularized padlock probe produces a detectable rolling circle product. Advantageously, this allows the RNA to be detected in situ, the patent's abstract states.

Sequenom has been awarded US Patent No. 8,551,707, "Nucleic acid-based tests for RhD typing, gender determination, and nucleic acid quantification."

Paul Oeth and Mathias Ehrich are named as inventors.

Provides nucleic acid-based assays that are particularly useful for non-invasive prenatal testing. The invention in part provides compositions and methods for RhD typing, detecting the presence of fetal nucleic acid in a sample, determining the relative amount of fetal nucleic acid in a sample, and determining the sex of a fetus, wherein each of the assays may be performed alone or in combination.

Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics has been awarded US Patent No. 8,551,706, "Identification of oligonucleotides for the capture, detection, and quantitation of West Nile virus."

Venkatakrishna Shyamala is named as the inventor.

The patent discloses West Nile virus capture oligonucleotides, primers, and probes derived from conserved regions of the West Nile virus genome. The patent also discloses nucleic acid-based assays using the capture oligonucleotides, primers, and probes.

Applied Biosystems (Life Technologies) and the US Department of Health and Human Services have been awarded US Patent No. 8,551,698, "Method of loading sample into a microfluidic device."

James Brown and Jonathan Silver are named as inventors.

The patent describes a method that comprises loading a sample into a microfluidic device with multiple sample chambers; subdividing the sample into a plurality of sample portions, such that the portions are positioned in each of a plurality of the sample chambers; and subjecting the sample portions to at least a first amplification step. Each of the sample chambers has a respective volume such that if a sample portion positioned in the chamber and comprises at least one molecule of a target nucleic acid, the target nucleic acid would attain a detectable concentration in the sample chamber after a single round of amplification.