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IP Watch: Hitachi, Phtisis, Hologic, Alere, Stanford, Great Basin, Others Win US Patents

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Hitachi High-Technologies has been awarded US Patent No. 8,574,891, "Nucleic acid analyzer, automatic analyzer, and analysis method."

Kohshi Maeda, Masato Ishizawa, Minoru Sano, and Hironori Kaji are named as inventors.

Discloses a nucleic acid analyzer which includes a transport mechanism to move a reaction container to an incubation mechanism in a pre-determined order, allowing reactions to be run simultaneously even when assays involve different temperatures or different reaction or detection times, or detection intervals.


Phthisis Diagnostics (Microbiologics) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,574,890, "Nucleic acid extraction from complex matrices."

Crystal Icenhour, Brian Loyal, and Linh Nguyen are named as inventors.

Describes an adsorbent (activated charcoal coated with polyvinylpyrrolidone, dextran, or coconut flours), as well as protocols for extracting nucleic acids from complex matrices such as stool or water samples, which often contain PCR-inhibiting proteins. A sample is homogenized in buffer and clarified by brief centrifugation. A protease enzyme is then used to lyse the suspended cells and degrade any protein PCR inhibitors present in the sample, then digested sample is passed through a microcentrifuge column containing a slurry of adsorbent, which removes small molecule PCR inhibitors from the sample while allowing purified DNA to flow through the column into a collection tube. Key components, including buffer, protease, and spin columns, may be packaged in a kit.


Gen-Probe (Hologic) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,574,847, "Use of blocker oligonucleotides in selective amplification of target sequences."

Michael Becker and Kristin Livezey are named as inventors.

Discloses a method for selective amplification of a target sequence by hybridizing a tagged oligonucleotide to the target and reducing the effective concentration of unhybridized tagged oligonucleotide. The tagged oligonucleotide includes a target hybridizing sequence and a tag. A blocker oligonucleotide is provided which is designed to hybridize to a region of a nucleic acid containing the target sequence.

Gen-Probe has also been awarded US Patent No. 8,574,841, "Compositions, reaction mixtures and methods for detecting nucleic acids from type A1 and/or type C1 human papillomavirus."

Sylvia Norman, Jennifer Bungo, William Hanna, and Neeraj Rao are named as inventors

Discloses nucleic acid oligonucleotide sequences which include amplification oligomers and probe oligomers useful for detecting multiple types of human papillomaviruses associated with cervical cancer, as well as methods for detecting multiple HPV types in biological specimens by amplifying HPV nucleic acid sequences in vitro and detecting the amplified products.


Alere has been awarded US Patent No. 8,574,846, "Recombinase polymerase amplification."

Olaf Piepenburg, Colin Williams, Niall Armes, and Derek Stemple are named as inventors.

Describes methods for recombinase-polymerase amplification of a target DNA using properties of recombinase and related proteins to invade double-stranded DNA with single-stranded homologous DNA, permitting sequence-specific priming of DNA polymerase reactions. The disclosed methods do not require thermocycling or thermophilic enzymes. Improved processivity may allow amplification of DNA up to hundreds of megabases in length.


The US Department of Health and Human Services has been awarded US Patent No. 8,574,844, "Quantitative real-time assay for noroviruses and enteroviruses with built in quality control standard."

William Burkhardt, Michael Vickery, and Jessica Nordstrom are named as inventors.

Provides a method for reverse transcription PCR accomplished by amplifying a reverse transcribed cDNA in a mixture containing primers and probes that can distinguish between genogroup I and genogroup II norovirus. Also provides a method for quantifying virus and normalizing data based on a universal internal RNA control. The method may also include primers and probes for enteroviruses.


Stanford University has been awarded US Patent No. 8,574,842, "Direct molecular diagnosis of fetal aneuploidy."

Hei-Mun Christina Fan and Stephen Quake are named as inventors.

Describes methods and materials for detection of aneuploidy and other chromosomal abnormalities in fetal tissue using digital PCR for amplification and detection of single target sequences. Specific polynucleic acid primers and probes are disclosed for chromosomes 1, 13, 18, 21, X and Y.


Great Basin Scientific has been awarded US Patent No. 8,574,833, "Methods and compositions for amplifying a detectable signal."

Robert Jenison, Joshua Klonoski, and Anthony Torres are named as inventors.

Discloses methods and materials for amplifying signal in a diagnostic assay using an amplification polymer (comprising a plurality of amine groups) bound to a nucleic acid analyte. This includes binding amine groups on the amplification polymer with a detectable label complex and reacting under high salt conditions an acetylating compound with unlabeled amine groups.


Christian-Albrechts-Universitat zu Kiel has been awarded US Patent No. 8,574,845, "Method for identifying an increased susceptibility to ulcerative colitis."

Stefan Schreiber and Andre Franke are named as inventors.

Provides a method for detecting susceptibility to ulcerative colitis by determining presence of a C-to-T substitution at position 256 of the nucleotide sequence of rs3024505, or a G-to-A substitution at position 501 of the nucleotide sequence of rs12612347.

The Scan

Support for Moderna Booster

An FDA advisory committee supports authorizing a booster for Moderna's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, CNN reports.

Testing at UK Lab Suspended

SARS-CoV-2 testing at a UK lab has been suspended following a number of false negative results.

J&J CSO to Step Down

The Wall Street Journal reports that Paul Stoffels will be stepping down as chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson by the end of the year.

Science Papers Present Proteo-Genomic Map of Human Health, Brain Tumor Target, Tool to Infer CNVs

In Science this week: gene-protein-disease map, epigenomic and transcriptomic approach highlights potential therapeutic target for gliomas, and more