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IP Watch: Gen-Probe, Life Tech, Abbott, BioMerieux, Medigen Biotech, Others Win US Patents

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Gen-Probe has been awarded US Patent No. 8,188,258, "Oligonucleotides for amplifying Chlamydophila pneumonia nucleic acid."

Melissa Cunningham is named as the inventor on the patent.

Discloses oligonucleotides for use in determining the presence of Chlamydophila pneumoniae in a test sample. The oligonucleotides are incorporated into detection probes, capture probes, and amplification oligonucleotides and can be used in various combinations thereof.


Wako Pure Chemical Industries has been awarded US Patent No. 8,188,256, "Primer and probe for detection of Mycobacterium intracellulare."

Tomokazu Ishikawa is named as inventor on the patent.

Discloses an oligonucleotide comprising a part or the entire sequence of a nucleotide sequence, or part or the entire sequence of a complementary sequence described in the patent, wherein the oligonucleotide is capable of hybridizing with a nucleotide sequence of the Mycobacterium intracellulare gene. The patent also describes a primer, probe, and method for detecting M. intracellulare. According to the detection method described in the patent, any false-positive result in diagnosis can be eliminated and detection or diagnosis of M. intracellulare can be carried out with higher accuracy, precision, and specificity compared to a conventional diagnostic method employing a cell culture assay or a PCR assay. The method also enables quantification of a microbial cell.


Applied Biosystems (Life Technologies) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,187,815, "Method to quantify siRNAs, miRNAs, and polymorphic miRNAs."

Ruoying Tan, Caifu Chen, and Karl Guegler are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods, compositions, and kits for quantifying target polynucleotides. In some embodiments, a reverse stem-loop ligation probe is ligated to the 3' end of a target polynucleotide using a ligase, such as T4 DNA ligase, that can ligate the 3' end of RNA to the 5' end of DNA using a DNA template. Following digestion to form an elongated target polynucleotide with a liberated end, a reverse transcription reaction can be performed, followed by a PCR. In some embodiments, the methods can discriminate between polymorphic polynucleotides that vary by as little as one nucleotide.


Ibis Biosciences (Abbott) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,187,814, "Methods for concurrent identification and quantification of an unknown bioagent."

David Ecker, Rangarajan Sampath, Lawrence Blyn, Steven Hofstadler, and Thomas Hall are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods for quantifying an unknown bioagent in a sample by amplifying bioagent nucleic acid and concurrently amplifying a known quantity of a calibration polynucleotide, thus producing a bioagent-identifying amplicon and a calibration amplicon. Mass and abundance data are obtained using molecular mass analysis, and the identity of the bioagent is then determined from the molecular mass of the bioagent-identifying amplicon; while the quantity of the identified bioagent in the sample is determined from the abundance data of both the bioagent-identifying amplicon and the calibration amplicon.


Medigen Biotechnology of Taipei, Taiwan, has been awarded US Patent No. 8,187,813, "Methods and apparatuses for convective polymerase chain reaction."

Pei-Jer Chen, Ping-Hei Chen, Wen-Pin Chou, Yi-Fan Hsieh, and Shiou-Hwei Yeh are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides a method and apparatus for amplifying a nucleic acid sequence by PCR. The method comprises placing a PCR sample in a container heated by only a single heat source. The source provides a high temperature for denaturation in the bottom of the sample, while annealing and extension automatically occur in different regions of the sample due to the convection induced by a temperature gradient descending from the bottom to the surface of the sample.


Northwestern University has been awarded US Patent No. 8,187,808, "Barriers for facilitating biological reactions."

David Kelso, Kunal Sur, and Zaheer Parpia are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to systems, devices, and methods for performing biological reactions. In particular, relates to the use of lipophilic, water-immiscible, or hydrophobic barriers in sample separation, purification, modification, and analysis processes.


Fuso Pharmaceuticals has been awarded US Patent No. 8,187,805, "Method of detecting nucleic acid and utilization thereof."

Akio Matsuhisa, Seiji Yamamoto, Souji Eda, and Shinji Yamasaki are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides a method and a gene detection kit enabling accurate and quick detection of a target nucleic acid with elevated sensitivity compared with existing methods. In the method, a sample containing cells is fixed to a support and nucleic acids are amplified and detected on the support. The nucleic acids are not detected from the sample, thus preventing a reduction in detection sensitivity due to nucleic acid loss in the nucleic acid extraction step. In addition, the nucleic acid can be detected even though it is contained only in a trace amount in the sample.


BioMérieux has been awarded US Patent No. 8,187,460, "Devices for separating, mixing, and concentrating magnetic particles within a fluid."

Hermannus Kreuwel, Emiel Verwimp, Bernardus Beerling, and Franciscus Spee are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to devices for manipulating magnetic particles that are suspended in a fluid, possibly containing a biological entity of interest. The magnetic particles are able to bind the entity of interest, and the fluid is contained in a reaction vessel constituting a large upper compartment with a funnel shape, an elongated lower compartment with a substantially constant cross-section, and a closed base. The devices are especially useful in methods for extracting nucleic acids for further processing.

The Scan

mRNA-Based Vaccine on the Way in China

China may soon have its own mRNA-based vaccine, according to Nature News.

Arranged Killing, Fraud Alleged by Prosecutors

The Wall Street Journal reports that prosecutors allege that the co-founder of a biotech arranged to have a business associate who threatened to expose him as a fraud killed.

Whirlwind Decade of CRISPR

The New York Times looks back at the 10 years since the University of California, Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues published their CRISPR paper.

PNAS Papers on Blue Cone Monochromacy Structural Variants, HIV-1 Mutant, T-ALL

In PNAS this week: structural variants linked to blue cone monochromacy, HIV-1 variants affecting the matrix protein p17, and more.