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IP Watch: Roche, Sony Micronics, Becton Dickinson, and Qiagen Win US Patents

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Roche has been awarded US Patent No. 8,219,366, "Determination of elbow values for PCR for parabolic shaped curves;" and US Patent No. 8,219,324, "Real-time PCR elbow calling by equationless algorithm."

Ronald Kurnik and Martin Titz are named as inventors both patents.

The '366 patent discloses systems and methods for processing PCR curves, and for identifying the presence of a parabolic-shaped PCR curve. Use of a piecewise linear approximation of a PCR curve enables the determination of a more realistic elbow value in the case of parabolic-shaped PCR curves.

The '324 patent provides systems and methods for determining a transition value in a sigmoid or growth curve, such as the end of the baseline region or the elbow value or Ct value of a PCR amplification curve. The method makes numerical determinations of the second derivatives and curvature values of a PCR data set by using a Gaussian mixture model function with parameters determined using a Levenberg-Marquardt, or other, regression process.


Micronics (Sony) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,216,832, "Sanitary swab collection system, microfluidic assay device, and methods for diagnostic assays."

Frederick Battrell, Jason Capodanno, John Clemmens, Joan Haab, and John Gerdes are named as inventors on the patent.

Discloses biohazard specimen collection containers with an external disposable skin that is stripped away and discarded after a biohazardous specimen is collected, thus reducing or eliminating objectionable or dangerous residues on the outside surfaces of the container. Further, the sample-collection container may also serve as an integrated microfluidic biosample processing and analytical device, thereby providing a single-entry, disposable assay unit, kit, and system for clinical diagnostic testing. The integrated assay devices feature synergic, multiple safe-handling features for protecting healthcare workers who handle them. The modified collection containers and analytical devices find application, for example, in PCR detection of infectious organisms or pathogenic markers collected on a swab.


HandyLab (Becton Dickinson) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,216,530, "Reagent tube."

Kalyan Handique and Theodore Springer are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a reagent tube configured with a stellated shaped pattern on its bottom interior surface to facilitate complete or near-complete withdrawal of fluid from the tube via a pipette tip. The reagent tube may be used for transporting reagents and for carrying out processing operations on biological samples with the reagents, such as preparing polynucleotides extracted from the sample for amplification.


Qiagen has been awarded US Patent No. 8,206,990, "Methods and kit for isolating nucleic acids."

Christoph Ritt, Christoph Erbacher, and Patrick Baumhof are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to a method for isolating a target nucleic acid from a sample. The method comprises the steps of mixing a sample containing the target nucleic acid with a binding solution and a nucleic acid-binding matrix; binding at least part of the target nucleic acid to the nucleic acid-binding matrix, wherein the matrix is treated simultaneously or has been previously treated with at least one compound comprising a metal substance selected from a group of semimetals and transition metals for reducing non-target nucleic acid contaminations. Alternatively, or in addition, the nucleic acid binding matrix is modified with hydrophobic groups. The patent further discloses related kits and reagents.

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