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IP Watch: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: Dec 23, 2010

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Applied Biosystems (Life Technologies) has been awarded US Patent Nos. 7,856,324 and 7,856,325, both entitled "Automatic threshold setting for quantitative polymerase chain reaction."

Lesley Ward, Adrian Jensen, Justin Lyon, Cameron McLeman, and Bryan Tysinger are named as inventors on both patents.

The patents cover systems and methods for identifying and quantitating the presence of one or more DNA species in a sample population through PCR amplification. DNA species quantitation includes determining a threshold fluorescence value used in the assessment of the PCR amplification reaction. Various embodiments of the invention incorporate an enhancement function useful in selecting appropriate threshold fluorescence values and facilitate the determination of DNA concentrations by quantitative PCR-based methodologies.


Takara Shuzo has been awarded US Patent No. 7,855,055, "DNA polymerases with enhanced length of primer extension."

Wayne Barnes is the sole inventor named on the patent.

Discloses a formulation and kit of thermostable or other DNA polymerases comprising at least one thermostable or other DNA polymerase that lacks 3'-exonuclease activity, and at least one thermostable DNA polymerase exhibiting 3'-exonuclease activity. The patent also discloses an improved method for enzymatic extension of DNA strands, especially while, but not limited to, amplifying nucleic acid sequences by polymerase chain reaction wherein the above formulation is made and used to catalyze primer extension.


SomaLogic has been awarded US Patent No. 7,855,054, "Multiplexed analyses of test samples."

Daniel Schneider, Dan Nieuwlandt, Bruce Eaton, Marty Stanton, Shashi Gupta, Stephan Kraemer, Dominic Zichi, and Larry Gold are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes methods, devices, reagents, and kits for detecting one or more target molecules that may be present in a test sample. The described methods, devices, kits, and reagents facilitate the detection and quantification of a non-nucleic acid target (e.g., a protein target) in a test sample by detecting and quantifying a nucleic acid (i.e., an aptamer). The methods described create a nucleic acid surrogate for a non-nucleic acid target, thus allowing the wide variety of nucleic acid technologies, including amplification, to be applied to a broader range of desired targets, especially protein targets. The disclosure further describes aptamer constructs that facilitate the use of aptamers in a variety of analytical detection applications.


The University of California has been awarded US Patent No. 7,855,053, "Methods for detecting the presence of expanded CGG repeats in the FMR1 gene 5' untranslated region."

Paul Hagerman and Flora Tassone are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides improved methods for detecting the presence of expanded CGG repeats in the fragile X mental retardation 1 gene and for quantifying the amount of protein produced by the gene.

The Scan

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.

Duke University Team Develops Programmable RNA Tool for Cell Editing

Researchers have developed an RNA-based editing tool that can target specific cells, as they describe in Nature.

Novel Gene Editing Approach for Treating Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers in Science Advances report on their development of a non-nuclease-based gene editing approach they hope to apply to treat cystic fibrosis.

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.