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IP Watch: Cepheid, Illumina, DxNA, BioMerieux, Others Win US Patents

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DxNA has been awarded US Patent No. 8,169,122, "Ultrasonic release of DNA or RNA."

Danvern Roberts, William Bickmore, Jared Hummel, Daniel Esplin, and Paul Day are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a method and apparatus for sonication in connection with preparing a cellular sample containing DNA or RNA to perform PCR, or for other reasons, where it is important to break down the cell walls and other cellular structures to release cellular contents including DNA. The same methods and apparatus may be used to release DNA or RNA from viruses for PCR or other uses. The patent further describes a novel apparatus capable of releasing cellular contents or releasing the DNA or RNA of virus without the aid of beads or chemicals. The apparatus is designed to deliver high levels of sonic energy by optimizing the geometry the apparatus and the force created by a piezoelectric transducer; and can process samples contained within fluid in between 30 seconds and two and a half minutes. The apparatus is small and can be field deployable or used in a standard molecular biology laboratory, the patent's abstract states.


Cepheid has been awarded US Patent No. 8,168,442, "Cartridge for conducting a chemical reaction."

Kurt Petersen, William McMillan, Farzad Pourahmadi, Ronald Chang, and Douglas Dority are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a cartridge for conducting a chemical reaction. The cartridge includes a body having at least one flow path formed therein, and also includes a reaction vessel extending from the body for holding a reaction mixture for chemical reaction and optical detection. The vessel comprises a rigid frame defining the side walls of a reaction chamber. The frame includes at least one channel connecting the flow path to the chamber. The vessel also includes flexible films or sheets attached to opposite sides of the rigid frame to form opposing major walls of the chamber. In addition, at least two of the side walls are optically transmissive and angularly offset from each to permit real-time optical detection of analyte in the reaction chamber.


Fuso Pharmaceutical Industries has been awarded US Patent No. 8,168,408, "Cytolethal distending toxins and detection of Campylobacter bacteria using the same as a target."

Shinji Yamasaki and Masahiro Asakura are named as inventors on the patent.

According to its abstract, the patent covers methods for cloning the previously unknown CDT genes of Campylobacter coli and C. fetus, and determining their sequences. The patent also covers specific primers and primers discovered to be common to the two species by comparing the CDTs of C. jejuni and C. fetus. The primers are applicable to multiplex PCR that simultaneously allows for the rapid determination of the presence of Campylobacter CDT and identification of species; and can also be used in PCR-RFLP-based typing.


Illumina has been awarded US Patent No. 8,168,388, "Preparation of nucleic acid templates for solid-phase amplification."

Niall Gormley, Jonathan Boutell, Gerardo Turcatti, and Colin Barnes are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to a method of preparing and using template constructs for solid-phase nucleic acid amplification. The method involves carrying out two ligation reactions: (a) a ligation reaction in which the first end of one or more target polynucleotide molecules are ligated to surface-bound adaptor polynucleotide molecules; and (b) a ligation reaction in which solution-phase adaptor polynucleotide molecules are ligated to the second end of said target polynucleotide molecules, in order to produce one or more template constructs attached to a solid support.


BioMérieux has been awarded US Patent No. 8,168,387, "Oligonucleotides, use thereof, detecting method, and kit for diagnosing the presence of H5 and N1 genes of the influenza A virus."

Aurelie Lefeuvre, Jean-Noel Telles, and Guy Vernet are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to a double pair of oligonucleotides for amplifying two target sequences located, respectively, in the H5 and N1 genes of the genome of the influenza A virus. The oligonucleotides are between 10 and 50 nucleotides in length and comprise at least one fragment of 10 consecutive nucleotides derived from certain sequences described in the patent. The invention also relates to oligonucleotides for detecting amplicons, the use of all these sequences, a method for detecting, and a kit for diagnosing the presence of the H5 and N1 genes of the influenza A virus.


The US Army has been awarded US Patent No. 8,168,386, "Methods for detecting Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus TC-83 and its use as a biological agent stimulant."

Jennifer Horsmon and Kevin O'Connell are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to products and methods that facilitate the use of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus TC-83 as a non-hazardous simulant, or surrogate, for viable pathogenic viruses. Specifically, TC-83 nucleic sequences are used in a method of detecting VEE or TC-83 in a sample thought to contain a biological threat agent. TC-83 and its nucleic acid sequence may therefore be used in the research, development, testing, evaluation, and training for technologies that enable the detection of biological threat agents. More particularly, specific primers and probes may be used to verify that instruments and systems using PCR detection methods are functioning properly.


The Chinese University of Hong Kong has been awarded US Patent No. 8,168,382, "Methods for detecting DNA originating from different individuals."

Yuk Lo and Lit Poon are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes methods for differentiating DNA species originating from different individuals in a biological sample. The methods may be used to differentiate or detect fetal DNA in a maternal sample or to differentiate DNA of an organ donor from DNA of an organ recipient. In preferred embodiments, the DNA species are differentiated by observing epigenetic differences in the DNA species, such as differences in DNA methylation. Specific claims of the patent cover a nucleic acid mimicking one of the DNA species, and PCR primers for amplifying the DNA species to produce an amplicon; for performing methylation-specific PCR; and for distinguishing a sequence difference between methylated and unmethylated DNA following bisulfite conversion of the DNA species. The invention also features kits for differentiating DNA species originating from different individuals in a biological sample.

The Scan

Highly Similar

Researchers have uncovered bat viruses that are highly similar to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Gain of Oversight

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden Administration is considering greater oversight of gain-of-function research.

Lasker for mRNA Vaccine Work

The Scientist reports that researchers whose work enabled the development of mRNA-based vaccines are among this year's Lasker Award winners

PLOS Papers on Causal Variant Mapping, Ancient Salmonella, ALK Fusion Test for NSCLC

In PLOS this week: MsCAVIAR approach to map causal variants, analysis of ancient Salmonella, and more.