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IP Watch: Roche, Sequenom, Rubicon, NetBio, Riken, DNAForm, Cepheid and More Win US Patents

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Medical Diagnostics Laboratories has been awarded US Patent No. 8,206,930, "Compositions and methods for detecting Borrelia afzelii."

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

Discloses oligonucleotides useful in methods for determining whether a sample contains Borrelia afzelii, a spirochete that is a causative agent of Lyme disease in humans. The oligonucleotides have nucleotide sequences derived from a coding segment of the gene encoding the p24 gene for the outer surface protein of B. afzelii, and are useful as forward and reverse primers for PCR using nucleic acids from a biological sample as templates and as probes for detecting any resultant amplicon. Detection of an amplicon indicates the sample contains B. afzelii. The patent also discloses real-time PCR and detection using fluorescence resonance energy transfer.


Roche Molecular Systems has been awarded US Patent No. 8,206,929, "Nucleic acid amplification with allele-specific suppression of sequence variants."

Michael Grow and Victoria Brophy are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes an improved method of selective amplification of certain variants of the target sequence, enhanced by allele-specific suppression of amplification of one or more of the other variants of the target sequence. The improvement is accomplished by providing an oligonucleotide, capable of hybridizing to the desired variant of the target sequence with lesser affinity than to the undesired variants of the target sequence, and, optionally, by providing chemically modified primers and hot-start conditions.


Sequenom has been awarded US Patent No. 8,206,927, "Method for accurate assessment of DNA quality after bisulfite treatment."

Mathias Ehrich is named as inventor on the patent.

Discloses methods useful for determining DNA quality after bisulfite treatment. The methods include a PCR-based assay, which allows ab initio assessment of the DNA quality after bisulfite treatment and can help to prevent inaccurate quantitative measurement resulting from poor bisulfite treatment.

Sequenom has also been awarded US Patent No. 8,206,926, "Restriction endonuclease enhanced polymorphic sequence detection."

Mathias Ehrich and Dirk Van den Boom are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides an improved method for detecting specific polymorphic alleles in a mixed DNA population. The method comprises enriching the relative percentage of a given polymorphic allele that is exponentially amplifiable by PCR. The patent also provides methods for selectively enriching target nucleic acid, for example, fetal nucleic acid in a maternal sample. In the case of detecting fetal nucleic acid in a maternal sample, a restriction enzyme is introduced that can discriminate between the alleles of a polymorphic site. In some embodiments, the maternal allele is digested and nucleic acid comprising the paternal allele is relatively enriched.


Osaka University has been awarded US Patent No. 8,206,924, "Trace mRNA amplification method and use thereof."

Hiroshi Nojima, Takahiro Tougan, and Daisuke Okuzaki are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a method for amplifying a trace amount of mRNA. The method includes adding a dummy RNA to a solution containing the trace amount of mRNA, so as to prepare a mixed solution; synthesizing an antisense DNA by reverse transcription, which uses the mixed solution as a template; synthesizing a sense DNA that is complementary to the antisense DNA thus synthesized, so as to generate a double-stranded DNA made of the sense DNA and the antisense DNA; ligating an RNA polymerase promoter sequence to the double-stranded DNA thus generated, on a sense DNA 5' end side of the double-stranded DNA, so as to prepare a double-stranded DNA for amplification; and amplifying, by using RNA polymerase, an RNA from the double-stranded DNA for amplification.


An undisclosed assignee has been awarded US Patent No. 8,206,923, "Method for detection and multiple, simultaneous quantification of pathogens by means of real-time polymerase chain reaction."

Elvira Gonzalez, Javier Bosques, and Victor Campana, employees of Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León in Monterrey, Mexico, are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a method for simultaneously detecting and quantifying Listeria spp, Staphylococcus aureus, Campylobacter jejuni, and Escherichia coli 0157:H7. The method involves extracting DNA from a sample; preparing a reaction mixture for enzymatic amplification of the extracted DNA, and using sets of pairs of oligonucleotide primers with specific sequences described in detail in the patent. The method also involves providing a thermostable DNA polymerase and magnesium salt to the reaction mixture; amplifying the reaction mixture by a PCR reaction; and determining the presence or absence, and quantification, of the pathogens by using a fluorescent signal or fluorescence emission specific for each pathogen.


Rubicon Genomics has been awarded US Patent No. 8,206,913, "Amplification and analysis of whole genome and whole transcriptome libraries generated by a DNA polymerization process."

Emmanuel Kamberov, Tong Sun, Eric Bruening, Jonathon Pinter, Irina Sleptsova, Takao Kurihara, and Vladimir Makarov are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a variety of methods and compositions for whole genome amplification and whole transcriptome amplification. In particular, the patent describes a method of amplifying a genome, the method comprising a library generation step followed by a library amplification step. In specific embodiments, the library generating step utilizes specific primer mixtures and a DNA polymerase, wherein the specific primer mixtures are designed to eliminate the ability to self-hybridize and/or hybridize to other primers within a mixture but efficiently and frequently prime nucleic acid templates.


NetBio has been awarded US Patent No. 8,206,974, "Ruggedized apparatus for analysis of nucleic acid and proteins."

Eugene Tan, Heung Lam, and Greg Kellogg are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods and systems for ruggedizing a nucleic acid analyzing apparatus. The ruggedized apparatus can be used reliably and effectively in uncontrolled environments, such as at a crime scene to collect and analyze forensic data; as well as in semi-controlled environments, such as at a point-of-care location.


An undisclosed assignee has been awarded US Patent No. 8,206,909, "Unrestricted mutagenesis and cloning methods."

Louay Hallak and Mark Peeples are named as inventors on the patent. Hallak and Peeples filed the patent application while employed at Nationwide Children's Hospital, according to filed documents.

Relates to methods for amplifying, modifying, mutating, and cloning DNA of any size. The methods comprise a series of PCR reactions punctuated by ligation reactions.


BASF has been awarded US Patent No. 8,206,906, "Methods and compositions for analyzing AHASL genes."

Chengyan Zhao, Robert Ascenzi, and Bijay Singh are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to methods and compositions for analyzing plant acetohydroxy acid synthase large subunit (AHASL) genes. In particular, the invention relates to methods for detecting wild-type and mutant AHASL alleles that encode imidazolinone-tolerant AHASL proteins. The methods involve the use of PCR amplification and novel compositions comprising allele-specific and gene-specific primers to detect the presence of mutant and/or wild-type alleles present at the individual AHASL genes of a plant. Specifically, the methods and compositions are useful for analyzing the three AHASL genes of Triticum aestivum and the two AHASL genes of Triticum turgidum ssp. durum.


Riken and DNAForm have been awarded US Patent No. 8,206,902, "Method of amplifying nucleic acid and method of detecting mutated nucleic acid using the same."

Yasumasa Mitani, Takanori Oka, Yoshihide Hayashizaki, and Toshizo Hayashi are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a primer set that includes at least two primers and allows specific and efficient amplification of a target nucleic acid. A first primer contains, in its 3' end portion, a sequence (Ac') that hybridizes to a sequence (A) located in the 3' end portion of the target nucleic acid sequence. The first primer also contains, on the 5' side of sequence (Ac'), a sequence (B') that hybridizes to a sequence (Bc) that is complementary to a sequence (B) that is present on the 5' side with respect to the sequence (A) in the target nucleic acid sequence. A second primer included in the primer set contains, in its 3' end portion, a sequence (Cc') that hybridizes to a sequence (C) located in the 3' end portion of a complementary sequence to the target nucleic acid sequence. The second primer also contains, on the 5' side of the sequence (Cc'), a folded sequence (D-Dc') that contains, on the same strand, two nucleic acid sequences that hybridize to each other.


Cepheid has been awarded US Patent No. 8,205,764, "Cap for vessel for performing multi-stage process."

Ronald Chang is named as inventor on the patent.

Provides a cap for a vessel for performing a multi-stage process for analyzing a sample, such as nested PCR or RT-PCR. In one embodiment, the cap comprises a body configured to be mated to the vessel to enclose the vessel interior, a cap cavity for holding reagents, and a cap cavity control portion that is adjustable with respect to the body between a first-stage position in which the cap cavity is enclosed and fluidicly isolated from the vessel interior and a second-stage position in which the cap cavity is fluidicly coupled with the vessel interior.

The Scan

Back as Director

A court has reinstated Nicole Boivin as director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Science reports.

Research, But Implementation?

Francis Collins reflects on his years as the director of the US National Institutes of Health with NPR.

For the False Negatives

The Guardian writes that the UK Health Security Agency is considering legal action against the lab that reported thousands of false negative COVID-19 test results.

Genome Biology Papers Present Epigenetics Benchmarking Resource, Genomic Architecture Maps of Peanuts, More

In Genome Biology this week: DNA methylation data for seven reference cell lines, three-dimensional genome architecture maps of peanut lines, and more.