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IP Watch: Gen-Probe, Qiagen, BD, PrimeraDx, Samsung, Hitachi, and Bioinnovations Win US Patents

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Samsung Electronics has been awarded US Patent No. 8,185,324, "Method of determining initial concentration of nucleic acid in sample using real-time amplification."

Kak Namkoong, Young-sun Lee, Chin-sung Park, and Joo-won Rhee are named as inventors on the patent.

Discloses a method of determining an initial concentration of a target nucleic acid within a sample using real-time nucleic acid amplification data. Amplification efficiencies of the target nucleic acid with respect to amplification time are obtained from signals of amplified products, and are used to formulate an amplification efficiency function with respect to amplification time.


Gen-Probe has been awarded US Patent No. 8,183,359, "Kits for amplifying DNA."

Michael Becker, Wai-Chung Lam, and Kristin Livezey are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes kits for amplifying DNA. The kits include a priming oligonucleotide that hybridizes to a 3' end of a DNA target sequence, a displacer oligonucleotide that hybridizes to a target nucleic acid containing the DNA target sequence at a position upstream from the priming oligonucleotide, and a promoter oligonucleotide that includes a region that hybridizes to a 3' region of a DNA primer extension product that includes the priming oligonucleotide and a promoter for an RNA polymerase. The priming oligonucleotide does not include an RNA region that hybridizes to the target nucleic acid, and is selectively degraded by an enzyme activity when hybridized to the target nucleic acid. The kits do not include a restriction endonuclease. Oligonucleotides that include a promoter for an RNA polymerase are all modified to prevent the initiation of DNA synthesis therefrom.


Hitachi has been awarded US Patent No. 8,183,054, "Instrument and method for collecting nucleic acids."

Toshinari Sakurai and Toshiaki Yokobayashia are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes an instrument and a method for collecting nucleic acids from a biological nucleic acid-containing sample. More specifically, the patent describes a nucleic acid-capturing tip having silica-containing solid phases enclosed therein that are capable of coming into contact with a liquid. The solid phases have water-flowing regions and the average interval among solid phases in the water-flowing regions is regulated to 25 µm or less.


Bioinnovations of Espoo, Finland, has been awarded US Patent No. 8,183,033, "Methods for preparing and performing analyses."

Bruce Turner is named as inventor on the patent.

Relates to methods for preparing and performing quantitative PCR analyses; a new sealing device; and a new use. A sample vessel containing the samples to be analyzed is sealed by placing a planar sealing device on the vessel and applying pressure on it in order to deform it so as to form a light-refracting geometry for the samples to be analyzed individually. Thus, the invention offers a convenient way of sealing the vessel and forming analysis-improving optical lenses over the samples simultaneously, the patent's abstract states.


Qiagen has been awarded US Patent No. 8,183,023, "Thermus egertssonii DNA polymerases."

Lars-Erik Peters and Nan Fang are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to a thermophilic DNA polymerase that has an in vitro primer extension rate of greater than 35 bases per second and is faster relative to the primer extension rate of other particular DNA polymerases comprising amino acid sequences described in the patent, when measured under identical conditions in a DNA replication assay using primed single-strand M13mp18 DNA and an incubation temperature of 60° C. The invention also relates to a vector comprising the polymerase, a host cell comprising the vector, and a nucleic acid replication kit comprising the polymerase.


GeneOhm Sciences (Becton Dickinson) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,183,015, "Biological reagents and methods to verify the efficiency of sample preparation and nucleic acid amplification and/or detection."

Jean Pierre Gayral, Francois Picard, Maurice Boissinot, and Martine Bastien are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to reagents comprising any one of cells, viral particles, organelles, parasites, cells comprising organelles, cells comprising viral particles, cells comprising parasites, cells comprising bacterial cells, and any combination thereof. The cells, viral particles, organelles, or parasites comprise at least one nucleic acid sequence serving as an internal control target for a nucleic acid testing assay; wherein the reagent is suitable to be added to a test sample undergoing sample preparation to release, concentrate, and/or purify nucleic acids; and to amplify and/or detect nucleic acids. The methods are used to verify the efficiency of sample preparation and the nucleic acid amplification and/or detection. The invention also relates to a method to verify or validate the preparation and amplification and/or detection of a nucleic acid target sequence in a sample spiked with one of the described reagents.

GeneOhm has also been awarded US Patent No. 8,182,996, "Compositions and methods for detecting Klebsiella pneumonia

Michel Bergeron, Maurice Boissinot, Ann Huletsky, Christian Menard, Marc Ouellette, Francois Picard, and Paul Roy are named as inventors on the patent.

Four highly conserved genes — encoding translation elongation factor Tu, translation elongation factor G, the catalytic subunit of proton-translocating ATPase, and the RecA recombinase — are used to generate species-specific, genus-specific, family-specific, group-specific, and universal nucleic acid probes and amplification primers to rapidly detect and identify algal, archaeal, bacterial, fungal, and parasitical pathogens from clinical specimens for diagnosis. The invention also covers the detection of associated antimicrobial agent resistance and toxin genes.


PrimeraDx has been awarded US Patent No. 8,182,995, "Real-time gene expression profiling."

Vladimir Slepnev is named as inventor on the patent.

Relates to methods of monitoring the amplification of one or more nucleic acid sequences of interest, particularly in real time. The patent provides methods for monitoring the amplification of one sequence or two or more sequences from a single sample, as well as methods for monitoring the amplification of one or more than one sequence from two or more samples. The monitoring methods permit improved determination of the abundance of one or more target nucleic acids, especially target RNA species, in one or more original samples.


HandyLab (Becton Dickinson) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,182,763, "Rack for sample tubes and reagent holders."

Patrick Duffy, Kerry Wilson, Kalyan Handique, and Jeff Williams are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a rack that can hold samples and various reagents, and may be used to load the samples and reagents prior to their use. The rack accepts complementary reagent holders, each of which contain a set of reagents for carrying out a predetermined processing operation, such as preparing biological samples for amplifying and detecting polynucleotides extracted from the samples.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.