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IP Watch: City of Hope, Gen-Probe, Promega, Roche, and DNA Genotek Win US Patents

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City of Hope has been awarded US Patent No. 8,227,191, "Method for amplification and detection of RNA sequences."

George Murakawa, Bruce Wallace, John Zaia, and John Rossi are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a process for identifying a viral RNA nucleotide sequence present in a sample of peripheral blood cells. The process comprises amplifying such RNA simultaneously with at least one other RNA nucleotide sequence present in a virus-infected cell in said sample, and thereafter separately and sequentially analyzing the amplification reaction products with probes homologous with authentic RNA and with such other RNA sequences to identify one or both of said RNA nucleotide sequences.


Gen-Probe has been awarded US Patent No. 8,224,584, "Parametric system for quantifying analyte polynucleotides."

James Carrick, Mark Kennedy, and Jeffrey Chismar are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a system for quantifying analyte polynucleotides that employs computer-implemented analysis of real-time amplification data using a calibration curve defined by parametric equations.


Promega has been awarded US Patent No. 8,222,397, "Methods of optimal purification of nucleic acids and kit for use in performing such methods."

Rex Bitner is named as inventor on the patent.

Describes a method and kit that allow the use of a discrete amount of a binding matrix to first purify nucleic acids from a medium under a first set of binding conditions wherein the amount of nucleic acid bound to the binding matrix is essentially independent of the amount of surface area of the definable amount of the binding matrix. This is followed by a second purification step wherein the nucleic acids are bound to a discrete amount of binding matrix under a second set of binding conditions wherein the amount of nucleic acid bound to the binding matrix is essentially dependent on the amount of surface area of the definable amount of the binding matrix, thus providing a discrete quantity of nucleic acid.


Roche Molecular Systems has been awarded US Patent No. 8,222,003, "Probes and methods for hepatitis C virus typing using single probe analysis."

Amar Gupta and Stephen Gordon are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides compositions and methods for HCV typing, e.g., genotyping and/or subtyping. The compositions and methods of the invention can be used to assign an HCV isolate to one of at least five HCV genotypes (for example, selected from genotypes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6), or assign an HCV isolate to one of at least six subtypes (for example, selected from subtypes 1a/b/c, 2a/c, 2b, 3a, 4a, 5a, or 6a), where the methods of the invention use only a single typing probe to make the HCV type assignment.


DNA Genotek has been awarded US Patent No. 8,221,381, "Container system for releasably storing a substance."

Rod Muir, Derek Kirkland, Ian Curry, Roy Sunstrum, Paul Lem, and Chaim Birnboim are named as inventors on the patent.

Covers a container system for releasably storing a substance. The container system includes a vial having a sample storage chamber and a piercing member for piercing a membrane in the lid, the membrane sealing a substance within a reservoir in the lid until the membrane is pierced. The container system optionally includes a funnel. The patent also provides a method and kit for use of such a container system, the patent's abstract states. According to DNA Genotek, the patent describes physical design elements that are core to its all-in-one system for collecting, stabilizing, and transporting nucleic acids from oral samples for research and molecular diagnostic applications.

The Scan

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.

EHR Quality Improvement Study Detects Demographic-Related Deficiencies in Cancer Family History Data

In a retrospective analysis in JAMA Network Open, researchers find that sex, ethnicity, language, and other features coincide with the quality of cancer family history information in a patient's record.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Linked to Gut Microbiome Community Structure Gradient in Meta-Analysis

Bringing together data from prior studies, researchers in Genome Biology track down microbial taxa and a population structure gradient with ties to ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.