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IP Update: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: May 20, 2010

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This article has been updated from a previous version to correct the Pharmasset patent number.

Pharmasset has been awarded US Patent No. 7,718,790, "Kit for assessing mitochondrial toxicity."

Lieven Stuyver and Michael Otto are listed as inventors on the patent.

According to its abstract, the patent covers processes and methods based on real-time PCR for simultaneously quantifying nucleic acids in diseased cells. The real-time PCR protocol can reliably quantify in vitro drug screening and evaluation protocols to determine the efficacy of potential anti-viral agents. Quantification using these simultaneous PCR cycle threshold detection techniques during one-step real-time RT-PCR eliminates the variability resulting from quantification of end-point RT-PCR products. In addition, the mitochondrial toxicity assay is an added tool to assess potential side-effects for these chemotherapeutic agents, according to the abstract.


Genohm Sciences Canada has been awarded US Patent No. 7,718,402, "Biological reagents and methods to verify the efficiency of sample preparation and nucleic acid amplification and/or detection."

Jean Pierre Gayral, Francois Picard, Maurice Boissinot, and Martine Bastien are listed as inventors on the patent.

The invention relates to reagents comprising: any one of cells, viral particles, organelles, parasites, cells comprising organelles, cells comprising viral particles, cells comprising parasites, cells comprising bacterial cells and any combination thereof. The cells, viral particles, organelles, or parasites comprise at least one nucleic acid sequence serving as an internal control target for a nucleic acid testing assay; wherein the reagent is suitable to be added to a test sample undergoing sample preparation to release, concentrate, and/or purify nucleic acids; and amplification and/or detection of nucleic acids is used to verify the efficiency of sample preparation and the efficiency of nucleic acid amplification and/or detection. The invention also relates to a method to verify or validate the preparation and amplification and/or detection of a nucleic acid target sequence in a sample spiked with a reagent of the present invention.


Samsung Electronics has been awarded US Patent No. 7,718,371, "Method and apparatus for isolating and purifying nucleic acid using a single surface."

Chang-eun Yoo, Sung-young Jeong, and Young-rok Kim are listed as inventors on the patent.

According to its abstract, the patent covers a method of isolating nucleic acid from cells using a single surface, wherein a compound represented by a particular formula disclosed in the patent is bound to the surface. The patent also discloses an apparatus and bead for isolating nucleic acids.

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