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IP Watch: Roche, Sony, Akonni, Diasorin, Genomic Health, Smiths Detection Among US Patent Recipients

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Roche Molecular Systems has been awarded US Patent No. 8,329,884, "Reagents and methods for detecting Neisseria gonorrhoeae."

Diane Kawa, Shi-Da Lu, and Peter Dailey are named as inventors.

Provides compositions and methods for detecting Neisseria gonorrhoeae in a sample. Also provides related reaction mixtures, kits, systems, and computers.


Micronics (Sony) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,329,453, "Portable high-gain fluorescence detection system."

Frederick Battrell, Troy Daiber, and William Hunter are named as inventors.

Discloses a compact, microprocessor-controlled instrument for fluorometric assays in liquid samples. The instrument has a floating stage with docking bay for receiving a microfluidic cartridge and a scanning detector head with on-board embedded microprocessor for controlling source LEDs, emission signal amplification, and filtering in an isolated, low-noise, high-gain environment within the detector head. Multiple optical channels may be incorporated in the scanning head. In a preferred configuration, the assay is validated using dual-channel optics for monitoring a first fluorophore associated with a target analyte and a second fluorophore associated with a control. Applications include molecular biological assays based on PCR amplification of target nucleic acids and fluorometric assays in general, many of which require temperature control during detection. Sensitivity and resistance to bubble interference during scanning are shown to be improved by use of a heating block with reflective mirror face in intimate contact with a thermo-optical window enclosing the liquid sample.


Akonni Biosystems has been awarded US Patent No. 8,329,433, "Thermal cycler for PCR including temperature-control bladder."

Phillip Belgrader is named as inventor.

Describes a method for performing PCR. The method comprises the step of maintaining a reaction mixture in a PCR reaction chamber alternatively at a first temperature and a second temperature using a device comprising: a first heater for heating a temperature-control substance to a first temperature; a second heater for heating said temperature-control substance to a second temperature; a pump located in between and connected in series with the first heater and the second heater; and a bladder unit connected to the first and second heaters via different ports. The pump introduces the temperature-control substance into the bladder unit at the first temperature and the second temperature alternatively with a regular interval to enable the PCR.


Diasorin of Saluggia, Italy, has been awarded US Patent No. 8,329,405, "Method for detection of mutant alleles combining real-time PCR and REMS-PCR."

Daniel Adlerstein, Eriet Shehi, and Giulia Amicarelli are named as inventors.

Provides an amplification system to simultaneously detect mutant alleles and identify the specific mutated sequence. A sample is enriched and simultaneously genotyped by the presence of peptide nucleic acids probes in a homogeneous single-tube amplification reaction by detecting the cleavage of a fluorophore quencher from the 5' end of PCR products and, concurrently, selecting DNA that includes specific mutations relative to wild type; and by employing a thermostable endonuclease that will only cleave an amplicon formed on a mutation-bearing template strand. The patent also provides oligonucleotides and kits for conducting the amplification system.


Genomic Health has been awarded US Patent No. 8,329,398, "Universal amplification of fragmented RNA."

Michael Kiefer and Kenneth Hoyt are named as inventors.

Relates to methods of using fragmented RNA, such as RNA obtained from archived fixed paraffin-embedded tissue material or other clinically biopsied tissue specimens for universal gene expression profiling.


Bioventures has been awarded US Patent No. 8,329,394, "Methods and substances for isolation and detection of small polynucleotides."

Elliott Dawson and Kristie Womble are named as inventors.

Discloses a capture probe suitable for use with methods of isolating, labeling, or detecting small polynucleotides. Also discloses a method for isolating a small polynucleotide of interest from a sample, the method comprising hybridizing the small polynucleotide to the capture probe and lengthening the small polynucleotide by primer extension or ligation. The patent also discloses a method for detecting a small polynucleotide of interest following isolation by amplification of the primer extension products and/or hybridization and subsequent cleavage of dual-labeled detector probes.


Smiths Detection of Watford, UK, has been awarded US Patent No. 8,327,724, "Sample preparation apparatus."

Michael Fairs, Thomas Ford, Piers Harding, Gary Howard, Barry Boyes, John Czajka, Douglas Green, Jay Lewington, Carmelo Volpe, Colin Fewster, Jason Betley, Catherine Mills, and William Mawer are named as inventors.

Describes an apparatus for preparing a biological sample for PCR analysis. The apparatus has an inlet for receiving the sample and a sieve through which the sample is forced by screwing down an inlet cap. A lysis solution between two rupturable seals is effective to disrupt the cells of the sample and release nucleic acid. The apparatus is mounted releasably on a PCR machine having a motor releasably coupled with a drive mechanism in the apparatus to effect a rotary and a vertical up-and-down movement of its components. The apparatus has a transparent cuvette and a needle extending to the lower end of the cuvette, by which the prepared sample is dispensed to the cuvette for PCR analysis.

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.