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IP Watch: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: Apr 7, 2011

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Roche Molecular Systems has been awarded US Patent No. 7,920,971, "Quantification schemes for quantifying nucleic acids."

Reiner Babiel, Norbert Franken, Hermann Leying, Judith Pinsl-Ober, Thomas Vess, and Guenter Ziegler are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides a method and apparatus, including computer program products, to implement techniques for quantifying a target nucleic acid in a test sample. The techniques include providing a target and a defined initial amount of an internal control nucleic acid different from the target; amplifying the target and control in a common amplification process; measuring a quantity indicating the amount of amplification product for the target and for the control in relation to a parameter representing the progress of the amplification; determining a characteristic value of the progress parameter for the target based on measurement results related to the amount of target amplification product; possibly determining a characteristic value of the progress parameter for the control based on measurement results related to the amount of control amplification product; and quantifying the original amount of target according to a predefined or selected quantification scheme using at least the characteristic value for the target.

Roche Molecular Systems has also been awarded US Patent No. 7,919,242, "Light-emission modifiers and their uses in nucleic acid detection, amplification, and analysis."

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

Relates to methods and reagents for modifying the emission of light from labeled nucleic acids for the purpose of real-time detection, analysis, and quantitation of nucleic acid sequences, for example, using singly labeled probes. These methods and reagents exploit advantageous properties of thiazine dyes and diazine dyes. Furthermore, the patent describes the use of these light-emission modifiers in background reduction, nucleic acid duplex stabilization, and other uses; and describes related kits, reaction mixtures, and integrated systems.


Toshiba has been awarded US Patent No. 7,919,611, "Nucleotide primer set and nucleotide probe for detecting genotype of N-acetyltransferase-2 (NAT2)."

Naoko Nakamura, Keiko Ito, Koji Hashimoto, and Nobuhiro Gemma are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides a nucleotide primer set for loop-mediated isothermal amplification, or LAMP, to detect genotypes of single-nucleotide polymorphisms G590A, G857A, and T341C of a NAT2 gene. The patent also provides a nucleotide probe for detecting an amplification product amplified with the primer set according to the invention. The patent also provides a method of detecting the genotypes of NAT2 gene single-nucleotide polymorphisms G590A, G857A, and T341C by using the primer set according to the invention.


Samsung has been awarded US Patent No. 7,919,278, "Method of amplifying nucleic acid from a cell using a nonplanar solid substrate."

Sung-young Jeong, Kyu-youn Hwang, Joon-ho Kim, Jung-im Han, and Hun-joo Lee are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides a method of amplifying nucleic acid. The method comprises contacting a cell-containing sample with a non-planar solid substrate in a liquid medium having a pH range of 3.0 to 6.0 to attach the cell to the solid substrate; washing the substrate to remove unattached materials; and performing PCR using the nucleic acid from the cell attached to the substrate as a template sample to amplify nucleic acid from the cell. The contacting, washing, and PCR processes are performed in a single vessel, according to the patent's abstract.


City of Hope has been awarded US Patent No. 7,919,253, "Serial coupling of nucleic acid metabolism and extension for nucleic acid amplification."

Qiang Liu and Steve Sommer are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a novel method of pyrophosphorolysis-activated polymerization, or PAP. In PAP, pyrophosphorolysis and polymerization by DNA polymerase are coupled serially for each amplification by using an activatable oligonucleotide P* that has a non-extendible 3'-deoxynucleotide at its 3' terminus. PAP can be applied for exponential amplification or for linear amplification; and can be applied to amplify a rare allele in admixture with one or more wild-type alleles by using an activatable oligonucleotide P* that is an exact match at its 3' end for the rare allele but has a mismatch at or near its 3' terminus for the wild-type allele. PAP is inhibited by a mismatch in the 3' specific sequence as far as 16 nucleotides away from the 3' terminus.

The method can greatly increase the specificity of detection of an extremely rare mutant allele in the presence of the wild-type allele, according to the patent's abstract. Specificity results from both pyrophosphorolysis and polymerization, since significant non-specific amplification requires the combination of mismatch pyrophosphorolysis and misincorporation by the DNA polymerase, an extremely rare event. Using genetically engineered DNA polymerases greatly improves the efficiency of PAP.


Pharmasset has been awarded US Patent No. 7,919,247, "Simultaneous quantification of nucleic acids in diseased cells."

Lieven Stuyver and Michael Otto are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a process for assessing mitochondrial toxicity of a compound. The process includes contacting nucleic acids from a host with an amplification reaction mixture that contains at least two primers that provide detectable signals. In the method, the first primer provides a first detectable signal upon amplification of a host mitochondrial nucleic acid; a second primer provides a second detectable signal upon amplification of a host nuclear nucleic acid; and the first and second detectable signals are compared.


Sequella has been awarded US Patent No. 7,919,234, "Methods and compositions for determining the pathogenic status of infectious agents."

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

Provides methods and compositions for detecting disease caused by infectious agents. In particular, provides methods and compositions comprising novel combinations of nucleic acid amplification and drug susceptibility technologies. In certain embodiments, the invention enables the detection of infectious agents and microbes as well as provides information concerning the viability status of the agent or microbe. In one embodiment, the invention is used to detect mycobacterial infections including, but not limited to, tuberculosis.

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