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IP Watch: Hologic, Roche, Qiagen, Life Tech, Alere, Genaphora, Others Win US Patents

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Universal Bio Research has been awarded US Patent No. D684,273, "Reaction vessel for amplifying nucleic acid."

Hideji Tajima is named as the inventor.

Claims an ornamental design for a reaction vessel for amplifying nucleic acid.


Gen-Probe (Hologic) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,461,324, "Compositions and methods for detection of hepatitis A virus nucleic acid."

James Carlson and Steven Brentano are named as inventors.

Discloses nucleic acid oligomeric sequences and in vitro nucleic acid amplification and detection methods to detect the presence of hepatitis A virus RNA sequences in samples. The patent also discloses kits comprising nucleic acid oligomers to perform said methods.


Roche Diagnostics has been awarded US Patent No. 8,460,944, "Use of a bis-maleic anhydride cross-linking agent for fixation of a cell or tissue sample."

Hans-Peter Josel, Michael Gerg, Rupert Herrmann, and Rosa Isabel Saez Diaz are named as inventors.'

Relates to novel bis-maleic anhydrides and to the discovery that bis-maleic anhydride cross-linking agents can be used for preservation/fixation of a cell or tissue sample. Various bis-maleic anhydride cross-linking agents can be used in methods requiring fixation of a cell or tissue sample. These reagents and methods are especially useful in procedures that require that the fixation agent be removed in order to facilitate analysis with other reagents. The reagents and methods make it easier to reliably assay for various proteins, nucleic acids, and the like using analytical methods such as immunohistochemistry, fluorescence in situ hybridization, RT-PCR, and the like.


Qiagen has been awarded US Patent No. 8,460, 941, "Methods and kit for isolating nucleic acids."

Christoph Ritt, Christoph Erbacher, and Patrick Baumhof are named as inventors.

Relates to a method for isolating a target nucleic acid from a sample. The method comprises: mixing a sample containing a target nucleic acid with a binding solution and a nucleic acid-binding matrix; and binding at least part of the target nucleic acid to the nucleic acid-binding matrix. The nucleic acid-binding matrix is treated simultaneously or has been previously treated with at least one compound comprising a metal substance selected from the group of semimetals and transition metals for reducing non-target nucleic acid contaminations; or, the nucleic acid-binding matrix is modified with hydrophobic groups. The patent also provides kits and reagents to perform the method.

Qiagen has also been awarded US Patent No. 8,460,531, "Integrated bio-analysis and sample preparation system."

Varouj Amirkhanian and Ming-Sun Liu are named as inventors.

Discloses an integrated bio-analysis system with built-in sample preparation capabilities. In one aspect, the bio-analysis instrument has a built-in sample preparation device based on PCR (or thermal cycling block/module). In one embodiment, a Peltier unit in the sample preparation device provides thermal cycling of samples supported in a multi-well tray. In another aspect, a capillary electrophoresis instrument contains a built-in sample preparation capability, which may comprise a sample preparation (biomolecular reaction) device based on a thermal cycler type. In another aspect, a PCR device with a built-in analysis device, such as a CE device, can be used to verify the results of the PCR process.


Applied Biosystems (Life Technologies) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,460,934, "Method for direct amplification from crude nucleic acid samples."

Chien-Wei Chang, Lori Hennessy, and Dennis Wang are named as inventors.

Relates to improved methods, kits, and reaction mixtures for amplifying nucleic acids. In some embodiments a novel direct buffer formulation is provided which allows for the direct amplification of the nucleic acids in a crude sample with minimal sample purification.


Alere has been awarded US Patent No. 8,460,875, "Recombinase polymerase amplification."

Niall Armes and Derek Stemple are named as inventors.

Provides methods for recombinase-polymerase amplification of a target DNA. The methods exploit the properties of the bacterial RecA and related proteins to invade double-stranded DNA with single-stranded homologous DNA permitting sequence-specific priming of DNA polymerase reactions. The methods have the advantage of not requiring thermocycling or thermophilic enzymes. Further, the methods allow amplification of DNA up to hundreds of megabases in length.


Genaphora of Tel Aviv, Israel, has been awarded US Patent No. 8,460,874, "Use of RNA/DNA chimeric primers for improved nucleic acid amplification."

Ofer Peleg is named as the inventor.

Provides methods for the amplification of a nucleic acid sequence. The methods use RNA/DNA chimeric oligonucleotides as primers. The primers have RNA residues scattered along their length, and no two ribonucleotides in the primer are adjacent to one another. The methods are useful for reducing non-specific amplification products, such as primer dimers. The invention also provides kits comprising RNA/DNA chimeric oligonucleotide primers to practice the methods.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.