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IP Watch: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: Apr 28, 2011

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Gen-Probe has been awarded US Patent No. 7,932,081, "Signal measuring system for conducting real-time amplification assays."

Gary Lair, Thanh Nguyen, Haitao Li, Florence Li, Byron Knight, Robert Heinz, Jerzy Macioszek, Christopher Davis, and Robert Scalese are named as inventors on the patent.

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. The analyzer includes 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 of performing an automated diagnostic assay, which 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.


OncoMedX has been awarded US Patent No. 7,932,061, "Method enabling the use of extracellular ribonucleic acid extracted from plasma of serum to detect, monitor, or evaluate cancer or premalignant conditions."

Michael Kopreski is the sole inventor listed on the patent.

Relates to the use of tumor-derived or associated extracellular RNA found circulating in the plasma or serum fraction of blood for detecting, monitoring, or evaluating cancer or premalignant conditions. Specifically, the invention enables the extraction of circulating RNA from plasma or serum and utilizes nucleic acid amplification assays to identify, detect, infer, monitor, or evaluate any neoplasm, benign, premalignant, or malignant, in humans or other animals, which might be associated with that RNA. Further, the invention allows the qualitative or quantitative detection of tumor-derived or associated extracellular RNA circulating in the plasma or serum of humans or animals with or without any prior knowledge of the presence of cancer or premalignant tissue, according to the patent's abstract.


Becton Dickinson has been awarded US Patent No. 7,932,060, "Immuno-amplification."

James Nadeau, Tobin Hellyer, Dolores Berger, William Nussbaumer, Robert Rosenstein, Andrew Kuhn, Sha Sha Wang, and Keith Thornton are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a high-sensitivity, low-background immuno-amplification assay, which offers a streamlined workflow suitable for high-throughput assays of clinically relevant samples such as blood and other bodily fluids. The assay uses two proximity members that each comprise an analyte-specific binding component conjugated to an oligonucleotide. Binding an analyte brings the oligonucleotide moieties of the proximity members in sufficiently close contact that the oligonucleotides form an amplicon. The presence of the analyte is then detected by amplifying the amplicon and detecting the amplified nucleic acids. The sensitivity of the assay is improved by preventing spurious or non-specific amplicon formation by proximity members that are not complexed with an analyte.


Qiagen has been awarded US Patent No. 7,932,059, "dUTP-based compositions for reducing primer-aggregate formations during nucleic acid amplification."

Ryan Westberry, Lars-Erik Peters, and Jessica Greenlee are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods and compositions for enhanced specificity and sensitivity of amplification reaction mixtures. The compositions described provide for reduced formation of primer-aggregates during amplification reactions. Reaction mixes include dNTPs, where a portion of the dNTPs has been replaced with an unconventional nucleotide, e.g., dUTP. Unconventional nucleotide concentrations are typically between 10 percent and 50 percent of the concentration of one of the standard dNTPs. In some compositions the unconventional nucleotide is dUTP, which replaces from about 10 percent to about 50 percent of the dTTP in the dNTP mix, the patent's abstract states.


Youn-Zoo Jang of Seoul, Korea, has been awarded US Patent No. 7,932,038, "DNA collection sticker and method for isolating DNA from the sticker."

Jae-Song Ryu and Yong-Kil Yu are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to a sticker and method for collecting and isolating DNA. Particularly, the DNA collection sticker is covered with a paint solution comprising EDTA, Tris, SDS, and peyonine to isolate keratins exclusively when attached to human skin and detached. Further, the DNA collection sticker separates DNAs efficiently to amplify genes using a PCR technique. As such, the invention can be used for applications such as identifying a child, criminal forensics, and screening genetic diseases, the patent's abstract states.


PerkinElmer has been awarded US Patent No. 7,932,037, "DNA assays using amplicon probes on encoded particles."

Karl Adler and Mack Schermer are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides encoded bead multiplex assays for chromosomal gains and losses that provide the benefits of complex, large template DNA sources, such as BAC DNA, as the probe material without bead networking or other assay performance problems. The patent describes reagents for assaying DNA that include a plurality of encoded particles having attached amplicons amplified from a template DNA sequence. Each individual attached amplicon includes a nucleic acid sequence identical to a random portion of the template DNA sequence, wherein the amplicons together represent substantially the entire template DNA and wherein the nucleic acid sequence identical to a random portion of the template DNA sequence of each individual amplicon is shorter than the entire template DNA.


AJ Innuscreen has been awarded US Patent No. 7,931,920, "Method for the isolation of nucleic acids from any starting material."

Timo Hildebrand is named as the inventor on the patent.

Describes a composition suitable for isolating nucleic acid from a material. The composition contains at least one buffer with a chaotropic component; at least one proteolytic enzyme; at least one buffer with a non-chaotropic component; at least one alcoholic component; and a detergent.

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