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IP Watch: Biomérieux, BD, Fluidigm, Cancer Research Technology, and Gen-Probe Win US Patents

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Biomérieux has been awarded US Patent No. 8,106,172, "Nucleic acid sequences that can be used as primers and probes in the amplification and detection of SARS coronavirus."

Peter Sillekens, Marlieke Overdijk, and Saskia van de Laar are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to nucleic acid sequences that can be used for virus diagnostics, more specifically the diagnosis of infections with a novel human coronavirus causing severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. Provides nucleotide sequences that can be used as primers and probes to amplify and detect SARS nucleic acid. The provided oligonucleotide sequences are located in the replicase gene, the nucleocapsid gene, and the 3' end non-coding region of the SARS coronavirus genome. It has been found that the sequences are especially useful in methods for amplifying nucleic acid and sensitively and specifically detecting SARS coronavirus.


HandyLab (Becton Dickinson) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,105,783, "Microfluidic cartridge."

Kalyan Handique is named as inventor on the patent.

Relates to microfluidic cartridges configured to amplify and detect polynucleotides extracted from multiple biological samples in parallel. The technology includes a microfluidic substrate comprising a plurality of sample lanes, wherein each lane comprises a microfluidic network. The network has in fluid communication with one another an inlet, a first valve, and a second valve; a first channel leading from the inlet, via the first valve, to a reaction chamber; and a second channel leading from the reaction chamber, via the second valve, to a vent.


Fluidigm has been awarded US Patent No. 8,105,824, "Integrated chip carriers with thermocycler interfaces and methods of using the same."

Geoffrey Facer, Robert Grossman, Marc Unger, Phillip Lam, Chou Hou-Pu, Jake Kimball, Martin Pieprzyk, and Antoine Daridon are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods and systems for conducting a reaction at a selected temperature or range of temperatures over time. An array device is provided that contains separate reaction chambers and is formed as an elastomeric block from multiple layers. At least one layer has at least one recess that has at least one deflectable membrane integral to the layer with the recess. The array device has a thermal transfer device proximal to at least one of the reaction chambers. The thermal transfer device is formed to contact a thermal control source. Reagents for carrying out a desired reaction are introduced into the array device, which is then contacted with a thermal control device such that the thermal control device is in thermal communication with the thermal control source. Thus, a temperature of the reaction in at least one of the reaction chambers is changed as a result of a change in temperature of the thermal control source.


Cancer Research Technology of London has been awarded US Patent No. 8,105,782, "Materials and methods relating to nucleic acid amplification and profiling."

Per Guldberg is named as inventor on the patent.

Provides improved methods for determining the methylation profile of a nucleic acid sequence and for determining one or more base changes in the target nucleic acid sequence as compared to a corresponding control sequence. The one-step methods can be incorporated with known amplification techniques such as PCR. The invention also provides methods for determining changes in nucleic acid sequences either via their methylation profile or owing to mutations of one or more bases.


Gen-Probe has been awarded US Patent No. 8,105,779, "Compositions and methods for detecting the presence of Cryptosporidium parvum in a test sample."

Melissa Cunningham, Paul Stull, and William Weisburg are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes novel oligonucleotides targeted to nucleic acid sequences derived from Cryptosporidium organisms, particularly C. parvum organisms, which are useful for determining the presence of Cryptosporidium organisms in a test sample. The oligonucleotides include hybridization assay probes, helper probes, and amplification primers. The invention further describes a novel method for obtaining purified ribonucleic acid from viable oocysts.

The Scan

Push Toward Approval

The Wall Street Journal reports the US Food and Drug Administration is under pressure to grant full approval to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Deer Exposure

About 40 percent of deer in a handful of US states carry antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Millions But Not Enough

NPR reports the US is set to send 110 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad, but that billions are needed.

PNAS Papers on CRISPR-Edited Cancer Models, Multiple Sclerosis Neuroinflammation, Parasitic Wasps

In PNAS this week: gene-editing approach for developing cancer models, role of extracellular proteins in multiple sclerosis, and more.