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IP Watch: Hologic, Roche 454, BU, Quantibact, CSIRO, Sequella, Qiagen, Others Win US Patents

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Gen-Probe (Hologic) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,501,461, "System for performing multi-formatted assays."

Byron Knight and Haitao Li are named as inventors.

Discloses an automated analyzer for performing multiple diagnostic assays simultaneously. The analyzer includes multiple stations in which discrete aspects of the assay are performed on fluid samples contained in sample vessels. These include stations for automatically preparing a sample, incubating the sample, performing an analyte-isolation procedure, ascertaining the presence of a target analyte, and analyzing the amount of a target analyte. An automated receptacle-transporting system moves the sample vessels from one station to the next. The patent also discloses a method for performing an automated diagnostic assay that includes an automated process for isolating and amplifying a target analyte, and, in one embodiment, a method for real-time monitoring of the amplification process.

Gen-Probe has also been awarded US Patent No. 8,501,410, "Oligonucleotides for detecting human papillomavirus."

Patricia Gordon, Nick Carter, Steven Brentano, and Philip Hammond are named as inventors.

Describes oligonucleotides targeted to HPV type 16 and/or type 18 nucleic acid sequences, which are particularly useful to aid in detecting HPV type 16 and or 18. The oligonucleotides can aid in detecting HPV type 16 and/or type 18 in different ways such as by acting as hybridization assay probes, helper probes, and/or amplification primers.


454 Life Sciences (Roche) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,501,409, 'System and method for detection of HIV drug-resistant variants."

Birgitte Simen, Christine Lubeski, and Jan Simons are named as inventors.

One embodiment of the invention is method for detecting low-frequency occurrence of one or more HIV sequence variants associated with drug resistance. The method comprises generating cDNA species from RNA molecules in an HIV sample population; amplifying first amplicons from the cDNA species, wherein each amplicon comprises amplified copies and is amplified with a pair of nucleic acid primers that define a locus; clonally amplifying the amplified copies of the first amplicons to produce second amplicons that comprise an immobilized population of substantially identical copies from one of the amplified copies of first amplicons; determining a nucleic acid sequence composition from at least 100 of the immobilized populations in parallel on a single instrument; detecting one or more sequence variants that occur at a frequency of 5 percent or less in the nucleic acid sequence composition of the at least 100 immobilized populations; and correlating the detected sequence variants with variation associated with HIV drug resistance.


Boston University has been awarded US Patent No. 8,501,443, "Haplotype analysis."

Charles Cantor and Chunming Ding are named as inventors.

Provides an efficient way to conduct high-throughput haplotype analysis. Several polymorphic nucleic acid markers, such as SNPs, can be simultaneously and reliably determined through multiplex PCR of single nucleic acid molecules in several parallel single-molecule dilutions. The consequent statistical analysis of the results from these parallel single-molecule multiplex PCR reactions results in reliable determination of haplotypes present in the subject. The nucleic acid markers can be of any distance to each other on the chromosome. In addition, an approach wherein overlapping DNA markers are analyzed can be used to link smaller haplotypes into larger haplotypes. Consequently, the invention provides a powerful new tool for diagnostic haplotyping and identifying novel haplotypes, the patent's abstract states.


Quantibact of Hvidovre, Denmark, has been awarded US Patent No. 8,501,441, "Target amplification and sequencing with primers comprising triplex-forming monomer units."

Gorm Lisby is named as inventor.

According to the patent's abstract, the inventors have discovered that the incorporation of a triplex-forming monomer unit into oligonucleotides gives the oligonucleotide a number of favorable characteristics. The oligonucleotides are advantageous because their melting temperature can be modulated, they have improved sequence specificity, and they can form triplexes by Hoogsteen or reverse Hoogsteen base pairing with double¬-stranded nucleic acids. Moreover, some of the oligonucleotides have useful fluorescent characteristics, and can be used as substrates for enzymatic manipulations such as primer extension.


The Austrian Red Cross has been awarded US Patent No. 8,501,414, "Detection of bacteria."

Martin Danzer, Helene Polin, Katja Hofer, Brigitte Fielder, Juliane Radler, Katrin Rosenhammer, Sabine Atzmuller, and Christian Gabriel are named as inventors.

Relates to a method and sequences of synthetic oligonucleotides used to detect bacterial contaminations, preferably in physiological samples. The method comprises (i) extracting the nucleic acid, particularly bacterial DNA; (ii) amplification by means of primers and detection by means of oligonucleotides, particularly fluorescence-marked oligonucleotides as hybridization probes, containing a specific sequence, preferably by real-time PCR; and (iii) evaluation by means of fusion curve analysis.


Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization has been awarded US Patent No. 8,501,403, "Amplification of DNA fragments."

Peter Molloy and Keith Rand are named as inventors.

Provides a method for detecting a nucleic acid molecule having a target sequence adjacent to a 3' terminus. The patent also provides a method for differentiating nucleic acid molecules having a target sequence adjacent to a 3' terminus from nucleic acid molecules in which the same sequence is embedded within the molecule.


Sequella has been awarded US Patent No. 8,501,400, "Methods and compositions for determining the pathogenic status of infectious agents."

Matthew Mulvey, Leo Einck, and Katherine Sacksteder are named as inventors.

Relates to methods and compositions for improved detection of infectious agents and microbes. In particular, the invention provides novel methods to detect infectious agents, providing information about the viability status of such infectious agents, and to determine drug susceptibility. In certain embodiments, the invention employs techniques involving nucleic acid amplification-based microbial identification together with phage-based biological detection of drug resistance. The methods are suitable for all microbes and infectious agents, including bacterial agents such as Mycobacteria.


Qiagen has been awarded US Patent No. 8,500,980, "Method and apparatus for high-speed genotyping."

Varouj Amirkhanian and Ming-Sun Liu are named as inventors.

Describes a cost-effective multi-channel capillary gel electrophoresis system for highly efficient, nucleic acid-based analysis, in particular human leukocyte antigen sequence-specific primer typing applications. Twelve DNA samples are automatically injected, electrophoretically separated, detected, and analyzed simultaneously by using a multiple-usage and disposable multi-capillary gel cartridge. Using commercially available DNA size markers as indicators, the system provides high resolving power with 12-channel separations in less than 1.5 minutes. The system can hold a total of 96 samples in a PCR plate that can automatically be analyzed within 25 minutes for a full plate of the HLA SSP kits.

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China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.