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IP Watch: Gen-Probe, Lumora, Fujifilm, Qiagen, Ehime University, Otsuka Pharma Win US Patents


Ehime University and Otsuka Pharmaceutical have been awarded US Patent No. 8,309,702, "Primers for detecting Plasmodium."

Takafumi Tsuboi and Eun-Taek Han are named as inventors.

Provides an easy and rapid method for detecting/identifying the presence or absence of specific Plasmodium parasites in a human specimen. The patent also describes an anti-malaria measure support system, and a malaria infection-prevention/treatment system, which can contribute to practical diagnosis in a malaria endemic area. More specifically, the method uses a genus-specific primer set that can simultaneously detect four Plasmodium parasites that infect humans; as well as primer sets each specific to each of four species of Plasmodium parasites (P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae, and P. ovale).

Gen-Probe (Hologic) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,309,358, "Method for introducing a fluid into a reaction receptacle contained within a temperature-controlled environment."

Kelly Ammann, Robert Schneider, and Robert Smith are named as inventors.

Describes an automated analyzer for simultaneously performing multiple diagnostic assays. The analyzer includes multiple stations, or modules, in which discrete aspects of the assay are performed on fluid samples contained in reaction receptacles. The analyzer includes stations for automatically preparing a specimen sample, incubating the sample at prescribed temperatures for prescribed periods, performing an analyte-isolation procedure, and ascertaining the presence of a target analyte. An automated receptacle-transporting system moves the reaction receptacles from one station to the next. The analyzer further includes devices for carrying a plurality of specimen tubes and disposable pipette tips in a machine-accessible manner; a device for agitating containers of target-capture reagents comprising suspensions of solid support material and for presenting the containers for machine access thereto; and a device for holding containers of reagents in a temperature-controlled environment and presenting the containers for machine access thereto. The patent also describes a method for performing an automated diagnostic assay, including an automated process for isolating and amplifying a target analyte. The process is performed by automatically moving each of a plurality of reaction receptacles containing a solid support material and a fluid sample between stations for incubating the contents of the reaction receptacle and for separating the target analyte bound to the solid support from the fluid sample. An amplification reagent is added to the separated analyte after the analyte-separation step and before a final incubation step.

Lumora has been awarded US Patent No. 8,309,308, "Method for determining the amount of template nucleic acid present in a sample."

Laurence Tisi, James Murray, Olga Gandelman, and Victoria Church are named as inventors.

Describes a method for determining the amount of template nucleic acid present in a sample. The method comprises the steps of: (I) bringing into association with the sample all the components necessary for nucleic acid amplification, and all the components necessary for a bioluminescence assay for nucleic acid amplification; (II) performing the nucleic acid amplification reaction; (III) monitoring the intensity of light output from the bioluminescence assay; and (IV) determining the amount of template nucleic acid present in the sample.

Fujifilm has been awarded US Patent No. 8,309,305, "Method for discriminating between nucleotide sequences of nucleic acids."

Hayato Miyoshi, Yoshihide Iwaki, and Toshihiro More are named as inventors.

Describes methods for discriminating between nucleotide sequences of first and second nucleic acids. The method includes: (I) providing a reaction solution, including a deoxynucleotide triphosphate, a DNA polymerase with strand displacement ability, a template nucleic acid fragment, a primer, and a mask oligo; (II) incubating the reaction solution, obtaining a polymerase reaction, and producing an amplification product; and (III) detecting the amplification product to discriminate between the nucleotide sequences, wherein the primer is complementary to the first nucleic acid, and the mask oligo hybridizes to the nucleotide sequence portion of the first and second nucleic acid. More specifically, in the method the mask oligo is more complementary to the second nucleic acid than to the first nucleic acid, is not an origin of an elongation reaction with the polymerase, and a primer portion and a mask oligo portion hybridize to the same regions on the first and second nucleic acid.

Qiagen has been awarded US Patent No. 8,309,303, "Reverse transcription and amplification of RNA with simultaneous degradation of DNA."

Christian Korfhage, Ralf Peist, and Dirk Loffert are named as inventors.

Relates to a method for processing RNA and, in particular, an RNA reaction method and kits for carrying out said reaction method.

The Scan

And a Fourth?

A fourth dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in an Israeli study increased antibody levels but did not prevent Omicron variant infections, according to the Financial Times.

For Better Science Software

A virtual institute funded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt's philanthropy aims to lure software engineers to academia, Science reports.

Recommendation Explanations

The New York Times writes that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is straining to both make and explain decisions based on limited information.

Genome Research Papers on De Novo Mutation Rates, Polyploid Genotyping, Oncogene Epigenomic Translocation

In Genome Research this week: de novo mutations rates in hemoglobin subunits, analysis of variant calling methods for polyploid plants, and more.