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IP Watch: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: Oct 5, 2011

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Medical Diagnostic Lab has been awarded US Patent No. 8,030,032, "Methods and compositions related thereto for detecting and identifying distinct species of nucleic acids from causative agents."

Martin Adelson, Melanie Feola, Jason Trama, and Eli Mordechai are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes methods for detecting and identifying distinct species of nucleic acids in a single container from a certain genus of infectious agents or otherwise causative agents. The method may comprise providing a forward PCR primer common to a homologous gene region between the distinct species, and providing a reverse PCR primer common to a homologous gene region between the distinct species, to thereby define a PCR target region among the species. The method may subsequently comprise providing a first oligonucleotide probe specific to a nucleic acid sequence within the target region that is characteristic of a first species; providing a second oligonucleotide probe specific to a nucleic acid sequence within the target region that is characteristic of a second species, wherein the two probes are each labeled with distinct detectable labels; conducting a PCR reaction in the container to amplify the target region among the species; and detecting the distinct labels, thereby identifying distinct species of nucleic acids corresponding to distinct species of infectious agents. The methods described are particularly applicable to detecting a member of the Herpesviridae family, the patent's abstract states.


OncoMedx has been awarded US Patent No. 8,030,031, "Method enabling use of extracellular RNA extracted from plasma or serum to detect, monitor, or evaluate cancer."

Michael Kopreski is named as inventor on the patent.

Relates to the use of tumor-derived or associated extracellular RNA found circulating in the plasma or serum fraction of blood for detecting, monitoring, or evaluating cancer or premalignant conditions. Specifically, the invention enables the extraction of circulating RNA from plasma or serum and utilizes nucleic acid amplification assays for identifying, detecting, inferring, monitoring, or evaluating any neoplasm — benign, premalignant, or malignant — in humans or other animals, which might be associated with that RNA. Further, the invention allows the qualitative or quantitative detection of tumor-derived or associated extracellular RNA circulating in the plasma or serum of humans or animals with or without any prior knowledge of the presence of cancer or premalignant tissue.


Alere San Diego has been awarded US Patent No. 8,030,000, "Recombinase polymerase amplification."

Olaf Piepenburg, Colin Williams, Niall Armes, and Derek Stemple are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes related methods for recombinase-polymerase amplification, or RPA, of a target DNA. The methods exploit the properties of recombinase 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, thus offering easy and affordable implementation and portability relative to other amplification methods, the patent's abstract states. The patent further describes RPA reactions using light and otherwise; methods to determine the nature of amplified species without a need for gel electrophoresis; methods to improve and optimize signal-to-noise ratios in RPA reactions; methods to optimize oligonucleotide primer function; methods to control carry-over contamination; and methods to employ sequence-specific third specificity probes. The patent further describes properties and approaches for using probes monitored by light in dynamic recombination environments.


AsiaGen has been awarded US Patent No. 8,029,806, "Method for diagnosing Mycobacterium tuberculosis."

George Chou is named as inventor on the patent.

Relates to a method, kit, primers, and probes for detecting Mycobacterium tuberculosis or non-tuberculous mycobacteria of patients by performing PCR, the patent's abstract states.

The Scan

Gap in COVAX Doses

BBC News reports that COVAX is experiencing a vaccine shortfall, as the Serum Institute of India has paused exports.

Sanofi, GSK Report Promising Results

The Wall Street Journal reports that the candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine from Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline has had encouraging early results.

Influence of Luck

The New York Times examines how the US avoided variant-fueled increases in COVID-19 cases.

PLOS Papers on Retina GWAS, Hantaan Virus, COVID-19 Phenome-Wide Association Study

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of retinal morphology, analysis of hantaan virus found in a mouse, and more.