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IP Watch: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: Oct 26, 2011

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Thermal Gradient has been awarded US Patent No. 8,043,849, "Thermal cycling device."

Joel Grover is named as inventor on the patent.

Describes multi-layer devices suitable for thermal cycling processes. The devices are particularly suitable for performing PCR. One embodiment includes a first conducting layer, a second conducting layer adjacent to the first layer, and a third conducting layer adjacent to the second layer and opposite the first layer. Insulating layers are positioned between the three conducting layers and continuous channels are formed within the layers. The channels can be formed in either the conducting layers, the insulating layers, or both. Other embodiments of the invention include two conducting layers. At least one integral or separate temperature source may be provided to maintain the conducting layers at various desired temperatures.


Qiagen has been awarded US Patent No. 8,043,834, "Universal reagents for rolling circle amplification and methods of use."

Patricio Abarzua, Natalia Smelkova, and Jason Sparkowski are named as inventors on the patent.

Discloses compositions and methods useful for labeling and detecting analytes. The compositions generally are associations of three components: reporter binding agents, amplification target circles, and DNA polymerase. The compositions are assembled prior to their use in a rolling circle amplification reaction and can be stored and transported prior to use without substantial loss of activity. The agents generally comprise a specific binding molecule, which can be specific for a target molecule, and a rolling circle replication primer, the sequence of which is complementary to the amplification target circle. The DNA polymerase can interact with the rolling circle replication primer and amplification target circle. For use as a general reagent, the specific binding molecule is not bound to the target molecule until the composition is used in an assay.


Life Technologies has been awarded US Patent No. 8,043,816, "Compositions and methods for temperature-dependent nucleic acid synthesis."

Mekbib Astatke, Deb Chatterjee, and Gary Gerard are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to nucleic acid inhibitors, compositions, and method for enhancing synthesis of nucleic acid molecules. More specifically, the patent relates to inhibition or control of nucleic acid synthesis, sequencing, or amplification; and particularly nucleic acids having affinity for polypeptides with polymerase activity for use in such synthesis, amplification, or sequencing reactions. The nucleic acid inhibitors are capable of inhibiting nonspecific nucleic acid synthesis under certain conditions (e.g., at ambient temperatures). Thus, in a preferred aspect, the invention relates to so-called "hot start" synthesis of nucleic acid molecules, the patent's abstract states. As such, the invention prevents or reduces non-specific nucleic acid synthesis.

The patent also discloses kits for synthesizing, amplifying, reverse transcribing, or sequencing nucleic acid molecules comprising one or more of the nucleic acid inhibitors or compositions of the invention. The invention also relates to using the described inhibitors to prevent viral replication or treat viral infections in a subject. Lastly, the invention may be used for in vivo and in vitro inhibition of nucleic acid synthesis and/or polymerase activity.


Japan's National Institute of Infectious Diseases has been awarded US Patent No. 8,043,813, "Method of detecting H5 or H7 avian influenza virus."

Harumi Minekawa, Tsugunori Notomi, Toshihiro Yonekawa, Norihiro Tomita, Yoko Kuzuhara, and Takato Odagiri are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides oligonucleotide primers that specifically hybridize to an arbitrary nucleotide sequence designed from the nucleotide sequence of hemagglutinin of an H5 or H7 avian influenza virus; a nucleic acid amplification method using the primers; and a method and kit for diagnosing infection with an H5 or H7 avian influenza virus by detecting nucleic acid amplification.


Nihon University in Tokyo has been awarded US Patent No. 8,043,812, "Method of detecting Streptococcus pneumoniae, primer set for the detection, and kit for the detection."

Mitsuko Seki and Hiromasa Tsuda are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a method of detecting Streptococcus pneumoniae. The method involves amplifying a lytA gene derived from S. pneumoniae using a LAMP primer set comprising at least one primer having a nucleotide sequence identical to or complementary to a partial sequence in the region ranging from base pair 40 to 450 of the nucleotide sequence region of the lytA gene, and then detecting the obtained amplified product.


The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been awarded US Patent No. 8,043,809, "Real-time PCR point mutation assays for detecting HIV-1 resistance to antiviral drugs."

Jeffrey Johnson and Walid Heneine are named as inventors on the patent.

Discloses compositions, including primers and probes, capable of interacting with certain disclosed nucleic acids, such as those encoding the reverse transcriptase or protease of HIV. The patent also provides mixtures of primers and probes for use in RT-PCR and primary PCR reactions; and methods for the specific detection of several mutations in HIV, including mutations in its reverse transcriptase and protease genes.


The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto has been awarded US Patent No. 8,043,808, "CpG-amplicon and array protocol."

Arturas Petronis and Axel Schumacher are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides a method for amplifying hypomethylated and/or hypermethylated genomic nucleotide sequences and comparing the methylation state between different samples, for example control and test samples. Also discloses a microarray-based method for analyzing hypo- and/or hypermethylated genomic nucleotide sequence; as well as kits comprising reagents for practicing the method.

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