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IP Update: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: May 25, 2010

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PhyNexus has been awarded US Patent No. 7,722,820, "Method and device for sample preparation."

Douglas Gjerde, Allen Burge, Ronald Jones, and Mark Abel are listed as inventors on the patent.

The patent describes extraction columns for purifying an analyte (e.g., a biological macromolecule, such as a peptide, protein, or nucleic acid) from a sample solution, as well as methods for making and using such columns. The columns typically include a bed of extraction media positioned in the column, often between two frits. In some embodiments, the extraction columns employ modified pipette tips as column bodies; and in other embodiments, the invention provides methods characterized by the use of hydrophobic and/or hydrophilic membranes as frits, and/or by the inclusion of a wad of fibrous material to act as a wicking agent.


Gen-Probe has been awarded US Patent No. 7,723,040, "Detection of HIV-1 by nucleic acid amplification."

Gary Bee, Yeasing Yang, Dan Kolk, Cristina Giachetti, and Sherrol McDonough are listed as inventors on the patent.

The patent discloses nucleic acid sequences and methods for detecting HIV-1 nucleic acid (LTR and pol sequences) in biological samples by detecting amplified nucleic acids. The patent also discloses kits comprising nucleic acid oligomers for amplifying HIV-1 nucleic acid present in a biological sample and detecting the amplified nucleic acid.


Becton Dickinson has been awarded US Patent No. 7,723,041, "Assay for SARS coronavirus by amplification and detection of the replicase sequence."

Jianrong Lou, James Price, Daretta Yursis, David Wolfe, Lisa Keller, and Tobin Hellyer are listed as inventors on the patent.

The patent discloses primers and probes derived from SARS-CoV nucleic acid that facilitate detection and/or quantification of the replicase gene. The disclosed sequences may be used in a variety of amplification and non-amplification formats for detecting SARS-CoV infection.


BioMérieux has been awarded US Patent No. 7,723,078, "Method for the amplification and detection of [hepatitis B virus] DNA using a transcription based amplification."

Birgit Dieman, Inge Frantzen, and Arnoldina Van Strijp are listed as inventors on the patent.

The patent provides a method for the transcription-based amplification of a target HBV nucleic acid sequence starting from HBV DNA optionally present in a sample. The method comprises incubating the sample suspected to contain HBV in an amplification buffer with (1) one or more restriction enzymes capable of cleaving the HBV DNA at a selected restriction site, said restriction enzyme creating a defined 3' end of said HBV DNA strand(s); (2) a promoter-primer having a 5' region comprising the sequence of a promoter recognized by a DNA-dependent RNA polymerase, as well as a 3' region complementary to the defined 3' end of the DNA strand; (3) a second or reverse primer, having the opposite polarity of the promoter-primer and comprising the 5' end of the said target sequence; and (4) in the case of HBV ssDNA as the target sequence, a restriction primer.

The method then involves (1) maintaining the thus created reaction mixture under the appropriate conditions for a sufficient amount of time for digestion by the restriction enzyme to take place; (2) subjecting the sample to a heat treatment at a temperature and time sufficient to inactivate the restriction enzyme and/or to render at least partially a double strand to a single strand; (3) adding an enzyme having RNA-dependent DNA polymerase activity; and (4) maintaining the reaction mixture under the appropriate conditions for a sufficient amount of time for the amplification to take place.


Sungkyunkwan University Foundation for Corporate Collaboration has been awarded US Patent No. 7,723,093, "Uracil-DNA glycosylase of Psychrobacter sp. HJ147 and use thereof."

Suk-Tae Kwon, Mi-Sun Lee, Gun-A Kim, and Jung-Hyun Lee are listed as inventors on the patent.

According to its abstract, the patent describes a uracil-DNA glycosylase gene originating from Psychrobacter sp. HJ147, and amino acid sequences deduced from the gene; expression and purification of the Psp HJ147 UDG gene in Escherichia coli, and characterization of UDG obtained there from; and the use thereof in polymerase chain reaction. The UDG specifically excises uracil bases in uracil-containing DNA substrates at a low temperature, and is easily heat-inactivated. It thus can effectively eliminate cross-contamination and carry-over contamination of PCR templates that often occurs after a PCR process using dUTP. Therefore, it is useful for increasing precision, purity, and amplification efficiency of PCR, the abstract states.

The Scan

Review of Approval Process

Stat News reports the Department for Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General is to investigate FDA's approval of Biogen's Alzheimer's disease drug.

Not Quite Right

A new analysis has found hundreds of studies with incorrect nucleotide sequences reported in their methods, according to Nature News.

CRISPR and mRNA Together

Time magazine reports on the use of mRNA to deliver CRISPR machinery.

Nature Papers Present Smartphone Platform for DNA Diagnosis of Malaria, Mouse Lines for Epigenomic Editing

In Nature this week: a low-cost tool to detect infectious diseases like malaria, and more.