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IP Watch: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: Mar 8, 2011

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Sequenom has been awarded US Patent No. 7,902,345, "Detection and quantification of biomolecules using mass spectrometry."

Dirk Van Den Boom, Paul Oeth, and Payam Mahboubi are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates in part to a method for detecting a target nucleic acid using oligonucleotides detectable by mass spectrometry. The method takes advantage of the 5'-to-3' nuclease activity of a nucleic acid polymerase to cleave annealed oligonucleotide probes from hybridized duplexes, and releases labels for detection by mass spectrometry. The process is also easily incorporated into a polymerase chain reaction amplification assay. The method also includes embodiments directed to quantitative analysis of target nucleic acids.


Aisin Seiki and Riken have been awarded US Patent No. 7,902,335, "Heat-stable recA mutant protein and a nucleic acid amplification method using the heat-stable recA mutant protein."

Yasushi Shigemoir, Takehiko Shibata, and Tstomu Mikawa are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a heat-stable RecA mutant protein that is obtained by either deleting or substituting at least one amino acid in an amino acid sequence composing an acid region at the C-terminal end of a wild-type heat-stable RecA protein. The mutant protein has an improved ability, compared to the wild type heat-stable RecA protein, to contribute to an increase in amplification specificity of a template nucleic acid in a nucleic acid amplification reaction.


The University of California has received US Patent No. 7,901,888, "Multigene diagnostic assay for malignant thyroid neoplasm."

Electron Kebebew is the sole inventor named on the patent.

Provides methods for diagnosing, providing a prognosis, and staging thyroid cancer, using panels of molecular markers that are differentially expressed in thyroid cancer. Also provides methods to identify compounds that are useful for the treatment or prevention of thyroid cancer.


The Chinese University of Hong Kong has been awarded US Patent No. 7,901,884, "Markers for prenatal diagnosis and monitoring."

Yuk Ming Dennis Lo, Rossa Wai Kwun Chiu, Stephen Siu Chung Chim, Chunming Ding, Shengan Jin, Tracy Yuen Han Lee, and Fiona Miu Fun Lun are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides the use of novel fetal markers for prenatal diagnosis and monitoring of certain pregnancy-related conditions. More specifically, the invention resides in the discovery that certain CpG islands located on fetal chromosome 21 demonstrate a methylation profile that is distinct from that of the corresponding CpG islands located on maternal chromosome 21. This application also provides kits for diagnosing or monitoring the relevant conditions.


Orion Genomics has been awarded US Patent No. 7,901,880, "Differential enzymatic fragmentation."

Nathan Lakey and Jeffrey Jeddeloh are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods for detecting the presence of methylation at a locus within a population of nucleic acids.

The Scan

Rare Genetic Disease Partnership

A public-private partnership plans to speed the development of gene therapies for rare genetic diseases, Stat News writes.

Approval Sought for Alzheimer's Drug

The Wall Street Journal reports Eli Lilly has initiated a rolling submission to the US Food and Drug Administration to seek approval for its drug to treat Alzheimer's disease.

DNA Barcoding Paper Retracted

Science reports that a 2014 DNA barcoding paper was retracted after a co-author brought up data validity concerns.

Nature Papers Present Genomic Analysis of Bronze Age Mummies, Approach to Study Host-Pathogen Interactions

In Nature this week: analysis finds Tarim mummies had local genetic origin, and more.