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IP Update: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: Sep 1, 2010

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Roche Molecular Systems has been awarded US Patent No. 7,788,039, "Quantitation of nucleic acids using growth curves."

Thomas Vess is the sole inventor listed on the patent.

Provides methods, apparatus, and systems, including computer program products, to implement techniques for determining an amount of target nucleic acid in a sample. Signal data is received for a plurality of cycles of an amplification experiment performed on the target and a standard nucleic acid. The signal data includes a series of signal values indicating a quantity of standard present during cycles of the standard amplification, and a series of signal values indicating a quantity of target present during cycles of the target amplification. A target growth curve value is defined using the target signal values and a standard growth curve value is defined using the standard signal values. An initial amount of the target is calculated according to a calibration equation using an initial amount of the standard, and the target and standard growth curve values, where the calibration equation is a nonlinear equation.


Harvard University has been awarded US Patent No. 7,785,790, "Replica amplification of nucleic acid arrays."

George Church and Robi Mitra are named as inventors on the patent.

Discloses improved methods of making and using immobilized arrays of nucleic acids, particularly methods for producing replicas of such arrays. Included are methods for producing high-density arrays of nucleic acids and replicas of such arrays, as well as methods for preserving the resolution of arrays through rounds of replication. Also included are methods that take advantage of the availability of replicas of arrays for increased sensitivity in detection of sequences on arrays. The patent also discloses improved methods of sequencing nucleic acids immobilized on arrays utilizing single copies of arrays and methods taking further advantage of the availability of replicas of arrays. The improvements lead to higher fidelity and longer read lengths of sequences immobilized on arrays. The patent also disclosed methods that improve the efficiency of multiplex PCR using arrays of immobilized nucleic acids.


Gen-Probe has been awarded US Patent No. 7,785,844, "Compositions and methods for detecting hepatitis B virus."

Jeffrey Linnen, Daniel Kolk, Janel Dockter, Damon Getman, Tadashi Yoshimura, Martha Ho-Sing-Loy, Reinhold Pollner, and Leslie Stringfellow are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides compositions, methods, and kits for detecting viral nucleic acids. Targets that can be detected in accordance with the invention include hepatitis B virus and/or HIV-1 and/or hepatitis C virus nucleic acids. The patent particularly describes oligonucleotides that are useful as hybridization probes and amplification primers that facilitate detection of very low levels of HBV nucleic acids.


The University of Arkansas has been awarded US Patent No. 7,785,841, "Methods for the early diagnosis of ovarian cancer."

Timothy O'Brien is the sole inventor named on the patent.

Discloses nucleic acid primer sets, used in combination with quantitative amplification (PCR) of tissue cDNA, that can indicate the presence of specific proteases in a tissue sample. Specifically, the invention relates to expression of PUMP-1 protease (matrix metalloprotease 7). The detected proteases are themselves specifically over-expressed in certain cancers, and their presence may serve for early detection of associated ovarian and other malignancies, and for the design of interactive therapies for cancer treatment, according to the patent's abstract.


Samsung Electronics has been awarded US Patent No. 7,785,787, "Methods of isolating and amplifying nucleic acids using a silanized solid support."

Myo-yong Lee, Joong-gun Lee, Young-nam Kwon, Young-a Kim, Yeon-ja Cho, and Shin-I Yoo are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods of isolating and amplifying nucleic acids from and in a nucleic acid-containing sample. The method includes contacting a nucleic acid-containing sample to a silanized solid support to capture nucleic acids to the support and treating the nucleic acid-captured solid support with an alkaline solution of pH 9 to 14. The nucleic acid amplification method includes adding a nucleic acid amplification solution to the resultant solution after the alkaline treatment.


Quest Diagnostics has been awarded US Patent No. 7,785,786, "Methods for detecting nucleic acids using multiple signals."

Maurice Exner and Amy Rogers are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods for identifying a nucleic acid in a sample. In one example, the method includes: (a) contacting the nucleic acid in the sample with an oligonucleotide that is specific for the nucleic acid in the sample and that is labeled with at least a first fluorescent dye; (b) contacting the nucleic acid in the sample with a second fluorescent dye that is different from the first fluorescent dye, such that the second fluorescent dye interacts with the nucleic acid; (c) amplifying the nucleic acid if present in the sample; and (d) detecting the nucleic acid if present in the sample by observing fluorescence from the first fluorescent dye after the oligonucleotide hybridizes to the amplified nucleic acid and determining the melting temperature of the amplified nucleic acid by measuring the fluorescence of the second fluorescent dye. The second fluorescent dye may include a fluorescent intercalating agent.


Eyetech has been awarded US Patent No. 7,785,784, "Detection of oligonucleotides by dual hybridization."

David Shima, Pericles Calias, Gregory Robinson, John Wing, Lori Mullin, Lillian Smith, and Ervin Sinani are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods and compositions for detecting and/or quantifying modified nucleic acid oligonucleotides. These methods and compositions are useful for detecting and quantifying diagnostic and/or therapeutic synthetic modified oligonucleotides, such as aptamers, RNAi, siRNA, antisense oligonucleotides, or ribozymes in a biological sample.


Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics has been awarded US Patent No. 7,785,782, "Device and method for in-line blood testing using biochips."

David Chien, Bruce Phelps, and Yiu-Lan Fong are named as inventors on the patent.

Discloses a device for in-line blood screening and testing using biochips. The screening methods include nucleic acid amplification techniques and antibody/antigen assays to detect target molecules and agents indicative of infectious diseases or metabolic diseases.


Idaho Technology and the University of Utah Research Foundation have been awarded US Patent No. 7,785,776, "Genotyping by amplicon melting curve analysis."

Carl Wittwer, Cameron Gundry, Richard Abbott, and Derek David are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods for analyzing a target nucleic acid. A fluorescent label attached to a nucleic acid is incorporated into at least one strand of the target nucleic acid and the methods include monitoring change in fluorescence emission resulting from dissociation of the labeled strand of the amplification product from its complementary strand.


The Mayo Foundation for Medical Research and Education has been awarded US Patent No. 7,785,772, "Detecting methylated mammalian nucleic acid in stool."

David Ahlquist and Hongzhi Zou are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods and materials for enriching and detecting cancer markers and in particular methods and materials for enriching methylated mammalian nucleic acid from stool samples.

The Scan

For Better Odds

Bloomberg reports that a child has been born following polygenic risk score screening as an embryo.

Booster Decision Expected

The New York Times reports the US Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine this week for individuals over 65 or at high risk.

Snipping HIV Out

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Temple University researchers are to test a gene-editing approach for treating HIV.

PLOS Papers on Cancer Risk Scores, Typhoid Fever in Colombia, Streptococcus Protection

In PLOS this week: application of cancer polygenic risk scores across ancestries, genetic diversity of typhoid fever-causing Salmonella, and more.