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IP Watch: PrimeraDx, Hologic, Life Tech, Agilent, Luminex, 3M, Canon, Others Win US Patents

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PrimeraDx has been awarded US Patent No. 8,321,140, "Quantification of nucleic acid molecules using multiplex PCR."

Kyle Hart, Vladimir Dancik, Michael Bristol, Patrick Wells, Elizabeth Garcia, Vladimir Slepnev, and John Unger are named as inventors.

Describes quantification methods and systems that permit, within the context of multiplex PCR, the quantification of all targets within a single reaction tube. The methods employ quantitation algorithms applied to the amplification profiles of internal calibration controls or standards utilizing a plurality of nucleic acid templates that are amplified within the same reaction tube as the nucleic acid target(s) interrogated.


Instituto de Salud Carlos III of Madrid, Spain, has been awarded US Patent No. 8,318,915, "Kit for detection of bacterial species by means of DNA analysis."

Pedro Fernandez, Raquel Escudero, Isabel Garcia, Isabel Moreno, and Maria Alonso are named as inventors.

Relates to the detection and identification of different bacterial species, all of which cause zoonosis, based on DNA analysis. More specifically, the invention provides the primers, probes, genes, and genic regions required to apply a method for simultaneous detection of bacteria and bacterial groups belonging to the genera Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Borrelia, Bartonella, Coxiella, Rickettsia, and Francisella based on multiple PCR analysis by reverse line blotting, in addition to providing a kit to carry out said analysis.


Gen-Probe (Hologic) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,318,500, "Method for agitating the contents of a reaction receptacle within a temperature-controlled environment."

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

Describes 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. These include 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. The analyzer further includes an automated receptacle-transporting system, 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, and a device for holding containers of reagents in a temperature-controlled environment and presenting them to the machine.

The patent also describes a method for performing an automated diagnostic assay that includes 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 for incubating the contents of the reaction receptacle and for separating 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.


Applied Biosystems (Life Technologies) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,318,469, "Thermus brockianus nucleic acid polymerases."

James Rozzelle and Elena Bolchakova are named as inventors.

Provides nucleic acids and polypeptides for nucleic acid polymerases from a thermophilic organism, Thermus brockianus. The invention also provides methods for using these nucleic acids and polypeptides.


Boston University has been awarded US Patent No. 8,318,460, "Haplotype analysis."

Charles Cantor and Chunming Ding are named as inventors.

Provides an efficient method for high-throughput haplotype analysis. Several polymorphic nucleic acid markers, such as SNPs, can be simultaneously and reliably determined through multiplex PCR of single nucleic acid molecules in several parallel single-molecule dilutions, and the consequent statistical analysis of the results of these multiplex PCR reactions results in reliable determination of haplotypes present in the subject. The nucleic acid markers can be of any distance to each other on the chromosome. In addition, an approach in which overlapping DNA markers are analyzed can be used to link smaller haplotypes into larger haplotypes. Consequently, the invention provides a powerful new tool for diagnostic haplotyping and identifying novel haplotypes, the patent's abstract states.


Katholieke Universiteit Leuven of Belgium has been awarded US Patent No. 8,318,434, "Method for introducing a sample-specific DNA tag into a plurality of DNA fragments from a plurality of samples."

Harry Cuppens is named as inventor.

Discloses methods for introducing a sample-specific DNA tag into a plurality of DNA fragments from a plurality of samples. For each of the samples, the method involves amplifying DNA fragments in a first multiplex or multiplex-like PCR reaction using amplicon-specific forward and reverse primers. Each forward amplicon-specific primer includes a first adaptor sequence and each reverse amplicon-specific primer includes a second adaptor. The first adaptor sequence is identical in all forward primers for each of the samples, while the second adaptor sequence is identical in all reverse primers for each of the samples. The method then involves further amplifying the amplified nucleic acids obtained using one set of forward and reverse sample-specific primers directed against the first and second adaptor sequences. One or both of the sample-specific primers includes a DNA sequence that differs for each of the samples.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the US Department of Health and Human Services has been awarded US Patent No. 8,318,428, "Real-time PCR point mutation assays for detecting HIV-1 resistance to antiviral drugs."

Jeffrey Johnson and Walid Heneine are named as inventors.

Discloses compositions including primers and probes that are capable of interacting with specific disclosed nucleic acids, such as those encoding the reverse transcriptase or protease of HIV. Each of the disclosed oligonucleotides is a probe or a primer. The patent also provides mixtures of primers and probes and for use in specific disclosed RT-PCR and primary PCR reactions; and methods for the specific detection of several mutations in HIV. Mutations in both the reverse transcriptase and the protease of HIV can be detected using the described methods.


Focus Diagnostics (Quest Diagnostics) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,318,423, "Methods and compositions for detecting rhinoviruses."

Ming-Chou Lee, Lilly Kong, and Jan Groen are named as inventors.

Provides methods and compositions for rapid, sensitive, and highly specific nucleic acid-based detection of human rhinovirus in a sample. In general, the methods involve detecting a target nucleic acid having a target sequence of a conserved 5' untranslated region of the HRV genome. The invention also features compositions, including primers, probes, and kits, for use in the described methods.


Genetic Technologies of Victoria, Australia, has been awarded US Patent No. 8,315,816, "Methods of genetic analysis involving the amplification of complementary duplicons."

Roger Dawkins, John Millman, and Joseph Williamson are named as inventors.

Relates to methods for genetic analysis of DNA sequences containing complementary duplicons, which are duplicated and linked DNA sequences separated by an intermediate sequence. Furthermore, the invention relates to the bidirectional amplification of complementary duplicons using a single primer. The amplification of complementary duplicons can be used for a variety of purposes such as determining the species from which a genomic DNA sample is derived, or used as a marker for a trait of interest. The patent also provides methods for analyzing large datasets that can be used to identify primers useful for the described genomic analysis methods.


Agilent Technologies has been awarded US Patent No. 8,314,220, "Methods, compositions, and kits for detection of microRNA."

Rebecca Mullinax and Joseph Sorge are named as inventors.

Provides methods, nucleic acids, compositions, and kits for detecting microRNA in samples. The methods comprise designing miRNA-specific primers, adding a polyA tail to the miRNA, and using reverse transcription and amplification to detect the miRNA. The nucleic acids, compositions, and kits typically comprise some or all of the components necessary to practice the methods of the invention.


Luminex has been awarded US Patent No. 8,313,932, "Polymerase inhibitor and method of using same."

Michael Moser, David Marshall, James Prudent, Christopher Van Hout, and Christine Larsen are named as inventors.

Provides nucleic acid-based polymerase inhibitors and methods for reducing non-specific polymerase extension and amplification in nucleic acid amplification reactions. The polymerase inhibitors provide a double-stranded nucleic acid portion that is recognized by a polymerase enzyme as a template for extension but is incapable of being extended by the enzyme. The polymerase binds to the polymerase inhibitor, which sequesters the enzyme until the temperature achieves a level that denatures the double-stranded portion of the inhibitor, after which the polymerase is released and can then catalyze nucleic acid extension.


3M has been awarded US Patent No. 8,313,931, "Dual oligonucleotide method of nucleic acid detection."

Jesse Miller is named as inventor.

Describes methods for amplifying and detecting nucleic acids. The patent also describes sets of 5'-labeled oligonucleotides.


Canon US Life Sciences has been awarded US Patent No. 8,313,906, "Methods and systems for microfluidic DNA sample preparation."

Weidong Cao, Hiroshi, Inoue, and Kevin Louder are named as inventors.

Relates to methods and systems for microfluidic DNA sample preparation. More specifically, embodiments of the invention relate to methods and systems for isolating DNA from patient samples on a microfluidic device and using the DNA for downstream processing, such as performing amplification reactions and thermal melt analysis on the microfluidic device.


Advanced Liquid Logic and Duke University have been awarded US Patent No. 8,313,698, "Droplet-based nucleic acid amplification apparatus and system."

Michael Pollack, Philip Paik, and Vamsee Pamula are named as inventors.

Relates to a droplet-based nucleic acid amplification apparatus and system. According to one embodiment, a droplet microactuator is provided. The microactuator includes a fluorescing material and a detection region for detecting a fluorescence signal from a droplet, the detection region being coated with a light-absorbing, low-fluorescence or non-fluorescing material.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.