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IP Watch: Gen-Probe, Qiagen, Roche, Life Tech, Seegene, NY Blood Center, OSU Win US Patents

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Gen-Probe has been awarded US Patent No. 8,192,992, "System and method for incubating the contents of a reaction receptacle."

Kelly Ammann, Robert Schneider, and Robert Smith are named as inventors on the patent.

Discloses an automated analyzer for performing multiple diagnostic assays simultaneously. The analyzer includes multiple stations, or modules, in which discrete aspects of the assay are performed on fluid samples contained in reaction receptacles. The analyzer includes stations for automatically preparing a specimen sample, incubating the sample at prescribed temperatures for prescribed periods, performing an analyte isolation procedure, and ascertaining the presence of a target analyte. An automated receptacle transporting system moves the reaction receptacles from one station to the next. The analyzer further includes devices for carrying a plurality of specimen tubes and disposable pipette tips in a machine-accessible manner; a device for agitating containers of target capture reagents comprising suspensions of solid support material, and for presenting the containers for machine access thereto; and a device for holding containers of reagents in a temperature-controlled environment and presenting the containers for machine access thereto.

The patent also describes a method for performing an automated diagnostic assay, including an automated process for isolating and amplifying a target analyte. The process is performed by automatically moving each of a plurality of reaction receptacles containing a solid support material and a fluid sample between stations to incubate the contents of the reaction receptacle and to separate the target analyte bound to the solid support from the fluid sample. An amplification reagent is added to the separated analyte after the analyte separation step and before a final incubation step.


Qiagen has been awarded US Patent No. 8,192,960, "One-component and two-component DNA Pol III replicases and uses thereof."

Lars-Erik Peters is named as inventor on the patent.

Provides one-component and two-component DNA polymerases, as well as kits comprising the same, and methods of using the same for nucleic [acid] amplification and nucleic acid sequencing.


Roche Molecular Systems has been awarded US Patent No. 8,192,958, "Nucleic acid isolation using polidocanol and derivatives."

Sigrid Adie, Hermann Leying, Nicole Nachbaur, and Eberhard Russmann are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to a composition comprising a chaotropic agent, a buffering substance, and 0.5 percent to 5 percent (V/V) polidocanol or a derivative thereof; uses of this composition; and a kit comprising the composition. The invention further relates to a method for detecting and/or purifying a nucleic acid in a biological sample. The method comprises the steps of incubating the biological sample in the presence of the aforementioned composition, optionally isolating the nucleic acid, optionally amplifying the nucleic acid, and detecting the nucleic acid.


Applied Biosystems (Life Technologies) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,192,941, "Amplification and detection of ribonucleic acid."

Scott Kuersten is named as inventor on the patent.

Discloses compositions, methods, and kits for detecting one or more species of RNA molecules. In one embodiment, a first adaptor and a second adaptor are ligated to the RNA molecule using a polypeptide comprising double-strand-specific RNA ligase activity, without an intervening purification step. The ligated product is reverse transcribed and then at least some of the ribonucleosides in the reverse transcription product are removed. Primers are added and amplified products are generated. In certain embodiments, the sequence of at least part of at least one species of amplified product is determined and at least part of the corresponding RNA molecule is determined. In some embodiments, at least some of the amplified product species are detected, directly or indirectly, allowing the presence and/or quantity of the RNA molecule of interest to be determined.


Seegene has been awarded US Patent No. 8,192,940, "Method for amplifying unknown DNA sequence adjacent to known sequence."

Jong Yoon Chun is named as inventor on the patent.

Relates to a method for amplifying an unknown nucleotide sequence adjacent to a known nucleotide sequence by using a DNA walking annealing control primer and a target-specific primer that can hybridize with a site on the known nucleotide sequence.


The New York Blood Center has been awarded US Patent No. 8,192,939, "Universal multi-variant detection system."

Linda Andrus and Carmen Nichols are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides a method to diagnostically detect the variants of a given pathogen, such as HIV, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, parvovirus B19, et cetera, with the use of a single detection probe.


Ohio State University has been awarded US Patent No. 8,192,938, "Methods for quantifying microRNA precursors."

Thomas Schmittgen is named as inventor on the patent.

Discloses methods, reagents, kits, and compositions for detecting microRNA precursors in a biological sample. The methods use gene-specific primers and reverse transcriptase to convert the primary miRNA precursors and pre-miRNA precursors to cDNA. The method also uses amplification reactions using gene-specific forward and reverse primers targeted to the hairpin sequence of pri- and pre-microRNA precursors to detect the expression levels of both the pri- and the pre-microRNAs.

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.