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IP Watch: Roche, Smiths Detection, PSU, Advanced Liquid Logic, PositiveID Among US Patent Winners

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This story has been updated to include an additional patent.

Smiths Detection has been awarded US Patent No. 8,138,909, "Portable detection system and method."

Jay Lewington, John Czajka, Douglas Green, and Carmelo Volpe are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a method and apparatus for providing assay information to a portable detection unit by way of a remote server in communication with the unit or a consumable with stored information for use with the unit. The unit's GPS receiver collects GPS information so that it can determine its current position, including altitude. Based on the determined position, assays and parameters, such as PCR melt temperatures, can be selected. Assays to be performed by the portable detection unit can be selected based on the results of a prior assay.


Hiroshima University has been awarded US Patent No. 8,137,963, "Method for highly amplifying target gene in mammalian cell and vector therefor."

Noriaki Shimizu, Toshihiko Hashizume, and Shimizu Masashi are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides a vector for amplifying a target gene in a mammalian cell. The vector includes an amplification-activating fragment, which is a partial fragment of a mammalian replication initiation region and has a gene amplification activity site; and a mammalian nuclear matrix attachment region. In the case where the mammalian replication initiation region derives from a c-myc locus, for example, the above-described partial fragment contains at least a duplex unwinding element and a topoisomerase II-binding domain. The vector as described above improves gene transfer efficiency and gene amplification efficiency compared with the existing high-gene-amplification systems.


US Patent No. 8,137,936, "Selected amplification of polynucleotides," has been awarded to an unspecified party.

Stephen Macevicz is named as inventor on the patent. Macevicz is currently vice president of IP at Sequenta.

Provides methods and compositions for selectively amplifying one or more target polynucleotides in a sample. In one aspect, a plurality of selection oligonucleotides are provided that are capable of simultaneously annealing to separate regions of a target polynucleotide to form a complex that is enzymatically converted into a closed double-stranded DNA circle that incorporates the sequence region between the two separate regions. Sequences that fail to form such complexes may be removed by nuclease digestion, and the sequences of the remaining DNA circles may be amplified by a variety of techniques, such as rolling circle replication after nicking, PCR amplification after linearization, or the like.


Advanced Liquid Logic has been awarded US Patent No. 8,137,917, "Droplet actuator devices, systems, and methods."

Michael Pollack and Allen Eckhardt are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to certain novel approaches to reducing or eliminating the movement of contaminants from one droplet to another on a droplet actuator via liquid filler fluid. In one application, droplet actuators are used to conduct genetic analysis using PCR techniques. The invention addresses the need for improved methods of performing PCR on a droplet actuator that provide for optimum amplification and detection of a sample target.


The Penn State Research Foundation has been awarded US Patent No. 8,137,913, "Methods for nucleic acid manipulation."

Stephen Benkovic and Frank Salinas are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a method for replicating and amplifying a target nucleic acid sequence. A method of the invention involves forming a recombination intermediate without prior denaturing of a nucleic acid duplex through the use of a recombination factor. The recombination intermediate is treated with a high-fidelity polymerase to permit the replication and amplification of the target nucleic acid sequence. In preferred embodiments, the polymerase comprises a polymerase holoenzyme. In further preferred embodiments, the recombination factor is bacteriophage T4 UvsX protein or homologs from other species, and the polymerase holoenzyme comprises a polymerase enzyme, a clamp protein, and a clamp loader protein, derived from viral, bacteriophage, prokaryotic, archaebacterial, or eukaryotic systems.


Roche Molecular Systems has been awarded US Patent No. 8,137,616, "System for multi-color real-time PCR."

Gregor Sagner, Ingrid Bechler, Jochen Bolte, Dieter Heindl, Hans-Peter Josel, Martin Gutekunst, Rudolf Sebl, and Christoph Mueller are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a system for performing multi-color real-time PCR. The system comprises a flexible real-time PCR instrument and a specific composition or reaction mixture for performing multiplex PCR. In particular, patent describes a composition or reaction mixture comprising at least three; preferably four to five; and most preferably exactly four pairs of Förster resonance energy transfer hybridization probes. Each pair of said hybridization probes consists of a FRET donor probe carrying a FRET donor moiety and a FRET acceptor probe carrying a FRET acceptor moiety having an emission maximum between 550 and 710 nanometers.


PositiveID has been awarded US Patent No. 8,133,451, "Sample preparation apparatus."

Bob Yuan is named as inventor on the patent.

Describes a capture and purification apparatus configured as a stand-alone apparatus or as part of a larger system. The apparatus can be configured as a microfluidic cartridge that includes microfluidic circuitry and individually controlled valves. The cartridge can be configured to function independently or be coupled to a separate instrument that provides the actuation to perform the capture and purification process. The capture and purification apparatus is configured as a volume-driven system that applies single-direction valves, a single fluid-driving device, and fluid lines to control and discretely direct fluid flow within a fully loaded fluidic system. Such control enables various fluid sample-processing techniques to be performed including, but not limited to, lysis, thermal cycling, and/or target analyte capture and purification, for example using a combination of ion-exchange chromatography and size-exclusion chromatography.

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