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IP Watch: Hologic, Cepheid, Alere, Quest, Life Tech, Abbott, U of Utah, Others Win US Patents

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The University of Utah has been awarded US Patent No. 8,580,945, "Oligonucleotides for use in allele-specific PCR."

Josef Prchal, Roberto Nussenzveig, and Sabina Swierczek are named as inventors.

Relates to oligonucleotides complementary to a target polynucleotide, wherein the oligonucleotide comprises an LNA unit, a mismatch nucleobase, and an allele-specific nucleobase corresponding to an allele of the target polynucleotide. The invention further includes methods of using such oligonucleotides to detect and quantitate the frequency of particular alleles of a target polynucleotide.


Gen-Probe (Hologic) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,580,574, "Method and apparatus for stripping a contact-limiting element from a pipette probe."

Robert Smith is named as the inventor.

Discloses an automated analyzer for performing multiple diagnostic assays simultaneously, with multiple stations in which discrete aspects of the assay are performed on fluid samples in reaction receptacles. This includes stations for automatic sample prep, incubation, analyte isolation, and detection. An automated receptacle transport moves the reaction receptacles from one station to the next. Also discloses a method for performing automated diagnostic assays including an automated process for isolating and amplifying a target analyte. An amplification reagent is added to the separated analyte after the analyte separation step and before a final incubation step.

Gen-Probe has also been awarded US Patent No. 8,580,510, "Tagged oligonucleotides and their use in nucleic acid amplification methods."

Michael Becker, Kristin Livezey, and Wai-Chung Lam are named as inventors.

Provides nucleic acid amplification systems and methods to reduce or eliminate false positive amplification signals resulting from contaminating biological material, such as nucleic acid, thus requiring less stringent purification and sterility efforts than conventionally needed in amplification reactions.


Cepheid has been awarded US Patent No. 8,580,559, "Device for extracting nucleic acid from a sample."

Kurt Petersen, Michael Taylor, Farzad Pourahmadi, William McMillan, Ronald Chang, Stanley Sakai, Jesus Ching, Douglas Dority, Phillip Belgrader, and Allen Northrup are named as inventors.

Provides a cartridge for analyzing fluid samples enabling separation and lysis of cells or viruses, and chemical reaction or detection of the analyte (e.g. nucleic acid). The cartridge is useful for determining the presence or absence of one or more analytes in a sample.


Quest Diagnostics has been awarded US Patent No. 8,580,508, "Fluorescence energy transfer by competitive hybridization."

Chih-Sheng Chiang and Jose Cuan are named as inventors.

Method for detecting presence of nucleotides or monitoring nucleotide amplification by using fluorescence energy transfer via competitive hybridization with unequal length complementary probes having a fluorophore on one and a quencher on the other. The proximity of the quencher to the fluorophore produces fluorescence quenching.


Alere has been awarded US Patent No. 8,580,507, "Methods for multiplexing recombinase polymerase amplification."

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

Discloses methods and reagents for rapid multiplex RPA reactions and improved methods for detection of multiplex RPA reaction products, as well as new methods for eliminating carryover contamination between RPA processes.


Samsung Electronics has been awarded US Patent No. 8,580,506, "Method and composition for enhancing efficiency and sensitivity in polymerase chain reaction ."

Sun-ok Jung, Hee-kyun Lim, Kyu-youn Hwang, Joon-ho Kim, and Sung-hong Kwon, are named as inventors.

Provides methods for enhancing reaction efficiency and sensitivity in PCR by adding alkali (NaOH or KOH) to a biological sample or PCR mix.


Applied Biosystems (Life Technologies) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,580,505, "Fast PCR for STR genotyping."

Dennis Wang and Lori Hennessy are named as inventors.

Describes an amplification method where the reaction mixture comprises a double-stranded nucleic acid and at least two primers capable of annealing to complementary strands of and amplifying at least one short tandem repeat (STR) using a Family A DNA polymerase in a fast PCR protocol, and having a two-step amplification cycle in 25 seconds or less. Also discloses real-time PCR methods using the two-step protocol and kits for STR profiling using the fast PCR protocol.


The Wellcome Trust has been awarded US Patent No. 8,580,497, "Methods for detection of the oncogenic T1796A B-Raf mutation."

Mike Stratton, Andy Futreal, Richard Wooster, Richard Marais, and Chris Marshall are named as inventors.

Discusses a method for the detection of an oncogenic T1796A BRAF point mutation in cancerous tissue, detected by nucleic acid hybridization, polymerase chain reaction, and sequencing. Also discusses a method of isolating a second sample from non-cancerous tissue of the same subject and determining whether that sample has a T1796A BRAF point mutation.


Abbott Laboratories has been awarded US Patent No. 8,580,495, "Polynucleotides for the amplification and detection of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae."

Edward Pabich and Ronald Marshall are named as inventors.

Provides polynucleotides that hybridize with nucleic acid sequences of Chlamydia trachomatis and others that hybridize with Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which can be used to amplify and detect the presence of each organism to the exclusion of the other. The method can detect all 16 strains of C. trachomatis and 57 auxotypes and serovars of N. gonorrhoeae.

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.