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


Population Diagnostics has been awarded US Patent No. 7,957,913, "Evaluating genetic disorders."

James Chinitz and Eli Hatchwell are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to genetic analysis and evaluation using copy-number variants or polymorphisms. The methods use array comparative genomic hybridization and PCR assays to identify the significance of copy number variations in a subject or subject group.

Akonni Biosystems has been awarded US Patent No. 7,955,840, "Thermal cycler for PCR including temperature control bladder."

Phil Belgrader is named as inventor on the patent.

Describes methods and devices for performing chemical reactions under controlled temperatures. In one embodiment, the devices comprise a housing dimensioned to hold a reaction chamber disposed within an interior volume of the housing. The reaction chamber has thermally conductive interior and exterior surfaces defining an internal volume at a first temperature. The device also includes at least one thermally conductive temperature-control bladder configured to receive and subsequently expel a temperature-control substance at a second temperature. The bladder is further configured such that upon receiving the temperature-control substance, it expands to abut substantially at least a portion of the exterior surfaces of the reaction chamber to enable thermal exchange between the temperature-control substance the internal volume of the reaction chamber.

Luminex has been awarded US Patent No. 7,955,802, "Systems and methods for multiplex analysis of PCR in real time."

Douglas Whitman and Charles Collins are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods and systems for multiplexed real-time PCR measurements. Certain embodiments relate to methods and systems that use fluorescently encoded superparamagnetic microspheres to immobilize amplification products during the PCR process; and an imaging chamber of a measurement device that is also capable of controllable thermal cycling to assist the PCR process.

Jacques Schrenzel and Patrice Francois of Geneva University Hospital have been awarded US Patent No. 7,955,796, "Method for the direct detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus."

Describes a method for detecting and quantifying methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from a specimen. The method comprises a) contacting the specimen with anti-Protein A antibodies so as to adsorb MRSA and/or methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA); b) separating said antibodies from the specimen; c) lysing MRSA and/or MSSA adsorbed to said antibodies so as to release their DNA; then d) combining the released DNA with probes and/or primers that are (i) specific for a target DNA sequence of the mecA gene of MRSA and/or of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermis (MRSE); (ii) specific for a target DNA sequence of MRSA other than a target DNA sequence of the mecA gene and (iii) specific for a target DNA sequence of MRSE other than a target DNA sequence of the mecA gene, whereby the target DNA sequences of MRSA and MRSE are not homologous.

Subsequent steps of the method include subjecting the combined released DNA and the specific probes and/or primers to conditions which permit amplification of target DNA sequences; and detecting the presence and amount of the amplified sequences as an indication of the presence and amount of MRSA. The patent also describes new primers and probes and diagnostic kits for detecting and quantifying MRSA.

Qiagen has been awarded US Patent No. 7,955,795, "Method of whole-genome amplification with reduced artifact production."

Gyanendra Kumar is named as inventor on the patent.

Discloses compositions and methods for amplifying nucleic acid sequences of interest with greater efficiency and fidelity. The method relates to isothermal amplification techniques, such as multiple displacement amplification, which decreases or eliminates the generation of high molecular weight DNA artifacts while still allowing desired amplification of input DNA. Generally, this can be accomplished by carrying out the reaction at elevated temperature. In particularly useful embodiments of the method, sugars and/or other additives can be used to stabilize the polymerase at high temperature. It also has been discovered that isothermal amplification reactions can produce amplification products of high quality, such as low amplification bias, if performed at a higher temperature and, optionally, in the presence of one or more additives, according to the patent's abstract.

Illumina has been awarded US Patent No. 7,955,794, "Multiplex nucleic acid reactions."

Richard Mun-Jui Shen, Arnold Oliphant, Scott Butler, John Stuelpnagel, Mark Chee, Kenneth Kuhn, and Jian-Bing Fan are named as inventors on the patent.

The invention is directed to a variety of multiplexing methods used to amplify and/or genotype a variety of samples simultaneously.