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IP Watch: Roche, Lucigen, Abbott, Quest, Idaho Tech, Seegene and More Win US Patents

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Roche Molecular Systems has been awarded US Patent No. 8,095,322, "Systems and methods for determining cross-talk coefficients in PCR and other data sets."

Ronald Kurnik, Aditya Sane, and Christopher Elkin are named as inventors on the patent.

Covers systems and methods for determining cross-talk coefficients in curves, such as sigmoid-type or growth curves, and PCR curves and nucleic acid melting curves in particular; as well as for applying the cross-talk coefficients to produce cross-talk corrected data sets using a linear subtractive model. Cross-talk signal coefficients are determined using cross-talk data acquired across the entire signal acquisition range. Analyzing across all of the signal curve data provides for a more robust cross-talk correction across the entire data acquisition range. A linear subtractive model is used to correct data sets having cross-talk components.


Lucigen has been awarded US Patent No. 8,093,030, "Thermostable viral polymerases and methods of use."

Thomas Schoenfeld, Vinay Dhodda, Robert Difrancesco, and David Mead are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes thermostable viral polymerases exhibiting a combination of activities including proofreading (3'-to-5') exonuclease activity, nick translating (5'-to-3') nuclease activity, synthetic primer-initiated polymerase activity, nick-initiated polymerase activity, reverse transcriptase activity, strand displacement activity, and/or decreased discrimination against incorporation of nucleotide analogs. Also provides compositions including the polymerases, polynucleotides encoding the polymerases, and methods of using the polymerases.


Abbott Laboratories has been awarded US Patent No. 8,093,020, "Allelic discrimination analysis using an efficiency-related value."

Eric Shain is named as inventor on the patent.

Provides novel methods for discriminating two or more different target nucleic acids. In certain embodiments the methods include providing data amplification reactions comprising reagents to amplify two or more different target nucleic acids. The data include signals comprising an amplitude measurement representing the degree of amplification of each target nucleic acid in the amplification reaction and the time point in the reaction at which the amplitude is measured. The methods also comprise determining an efficiency-related transform of the data; determining an efficiency-related value for each target nucleic acid that is the maximum magnitude of the efficiency-related transform; and outputting the efficiency-related values in the amplification reaction for each target nucleic acid, where the relative amplitudes of the efficiency-related values for each target nucleic acid indicate the presence of each nucleic acid in the sample.


Quest Diagnostics has been awarded US Patent No. 8,093,003, "Fluorescence energy transfer by competitive hybridization."

Chih-Sheng Chiang and Jose Cuan are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides a method for detecting the presence of nucleotides or monitoring nucleotide amplification using fluorescence energy transfer by competitive hybridization. Competitive hybridization is achieved by using unequal length complementary probes that have a fluorophore on one probe and a quencher on the other. The fluorophore and quencher are juxtaposed such that the proximity of the quencher to the fluorophore quenches the fluorescence of the fluorophore.

Quest Diagnostics has also been awarded US Patent No. 8,092,996, "Method for detecting cystic fibrosis."

Feras Hantash is named as inventor on the patent.

Relates to methods for amplifying various regions of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator gene. Provides methods for amplifying one or all 27 exons of the CFTR gene and a portion of the CFTR promoter region in a single tube. The method can identify the presence or absence of CF deletions or insertions in a sample and assist in diagnosing a genetic predisposition to cystic fibrosis.


The University of Utah and Idaho Technology have been awarded US Patent No. 8,093,002, "Amplicon melting analysis with saturation dyes."

Carl Wittwer, Gudrun Reed, Virginie Dujols, and Luming Zhou are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods for nucleic acid analysis wherein a target nucleic acid that is at least partially double-stranded is mixed with a double-stranded DNA-binding dye having a percent saturation of at least 50 percent to form a mixture. In one embodiment, the nucleic acid is amplified in the presence of the dsDNA-binding dye, and in another embodiment a melting curve is generated for the target nucleic acid by measuring fluorescence from the dsDNA-binding dye as the mixture is heated. The patent also provides dyes for use in nucleic acid analysis and methods for making dyes.


Seiko Epson has been awarded US Patent No. 8,092,999, "Biological sample reaction chip and biological sample reaction method."

Fumio Takagi is named as inventor on the patent.

Relates to a biological sample reaction chip and method for carrying out reactions such as nucleic acid amplification. Describes a biological sample reaction chip that includes a plurality of reaction containers; a reaction liquid introduction channel having a reaction liquid supply opening at a first end and an evacuation opening at a second end; and a reaction liquid quantifying channel, a third end of which is connected to one of the reaction containers, and a fourth end of which is connected to the reaction liquid introduction channel, wherein an interior of each of the containers is coated with a reagent that is necessary for a reaction.


Seegene has been awarded US Patent No. 8,092,997, "Processes using dual specificity oligonucleotide and dual specificity oligonucleotide."

Jong-Yoon Chun is named as inventor on the patent.

Relates to various processes by a template-dependent extension reaction using a dual specificity oligonucleotide and a dual specificity oligonucleotide composed of three different Tm portions therefor. The patent also demonstrates features of the dual specificity oligonucleotide, which are high hybridization specificity and mismatch tolerance.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

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.