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IP Watch: Sysmex, Quest, Genentech, Genetag Technologies, Roche, and Others Win US Patents

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Peter Rogan has been awarded US Patent No. 8,076,104, "Rapid and comprehensive identification of prokaryotic organisms."

Rogan is president of London, Canada-based Cytognomix.

Discloses an improved method for rapid identification of microorganisms, as well as sequences of PCR primers optimized for this purpose. The primers are designed based on information analysis of sequences from a large number of organisms to amplify certain segments of genomic DNA whose sequences are unique among different organisms. The PCR products are compared with a DNA sequence database to obtain the identity of the microorganisms. This approach provides an accurate and fast identification and taxonomic assignment of microbial species.


Cleveland State University has been awarded US Patent No. 8,076,082, "Methods for identifying multiple DNA alteration markers in a large background of wild-type DNA."

Baochuan Guo is named as inventor on the patent.

Describes methods for simultaneously surveying the status of a large number of DNA mutation markers and methods for simultaneously determining the methylation status at multiple sites of a collection of genes in a single assay.

More specifically, the method comprises providing a sample including mutant DNA and wild-type DNA; amplifying the sample by a first PCR to generate DNA fragments containing the mutation sites; enriching the mutant DNA fragments containing the mutations from the amplicons of the multiplexed PCR simultaneously by performing one or multiple mutant-specific enrichment cycles to thereby form an enriched system; amplifying the enriched system by a second PCR to generate sufficient amounts of mutant DNA for detection; and simultaneously surveying the status of the target mutation sites.


The University of Michigan has been awarded US Patent No. 8,076,081, "Systems, methods, and compositions for detection of human papillomavirus in biological samples."

Dabid Kurnit and Michael Kane are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes systems, methods, and compositions for detecting, identifying, and quantifying human papillomavirus in biological samples down to the single-copy level from mammalian body fluids and cervix scrapings for the purposes of detecting, treating, and/or managing cancer and dysplasia.

More specifically, the method comprises extracting DNA from a mammalian biological sample; conducting a first amplification by PCR of at least a portion of the extracted DNA in the presence of at least one competitor sequence comprising a polynucleotide substantially homologous to a polynucleotide in a DNA sequence of a known HPV type, and having a nucleotide substitution not present in said HPV DNA sequence; conducting a second amplification by PCR in the presence of at least one extension primer for said known HPV type and at least two different dideoxynucleotides; and determining the level of any amplified extension primer for the known HPV type by mass spectrometry.


Sysmex has been awarded US Patent No. 8,076,080, "Nucleic acid amplification primers for detecting cytokeratins and examination method with the use of the primers."

Sachiyo Tada, Yasumasa Akai, Yasuyuki Imura, Shigeki Abe, and Harumi Minekawa are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides novel primers to be used in gene amplification reactions for detecting human cytokeratins.


Quest Diagnostics has been awarded US Patent No. 8,076,078, "Cystic fibrosis gene mutations."

Matthew McGinniss, Arlene Buller, Franklin Quan, Mei Peng, and Weimin Sun are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides novel mutations of the CFTR gene related to cystic fibrosis or to conditions associated with cystic fibrosis. Also provides probes for detecting the mutant sequences. Further provides methods of identifying whether an individual has a genotype containing one or more mutations in the CFTR gene.


Genetag Technologies has been awarded US Patent No. 8,076,067, "Probe-antiprobe compositions and methods for DNA or RNA detection."

David Shafer is named as inventor on the patent.

The invention provides novel compositions and methods for detecting unlabeled nucleic acid targets using labeled polynucleotide probes and partially complementary antiprobes. The interaction of probes, antiprobes, and targets results in signaling changes that indicate target frequency. This detection mechanism is called a DNA detection switch, and it enables endpoint detection, microarray detection, and real-time PCR detection of a variety of nucleic acid targets including microbial species and subspecies, drug-resistant mutants, and pathogenic strains.


Genentech has been awarded US Patent No. 8,076,066, "Gene detection assay for improving the likelihood of an effective response to a HER2 antibody cancer therapy."

Robert Mass is named as inventor on the patent.

Provides a method for more effective treatment of patients who are susceptible to or diagnosed with tumors overexpressing HER2, as determined by a gene amplification assay, with a HER2 antibody. The method comprises administering a cancer-treating dose of the HER2 antibody, preferably in addition to chemotherapeutic agents, to a subject in whose tumor cells HER2 has been found to be amplified e.g., by fluorescent in situ hybridization.


Roche Molecular Systems has been awarded US Patent No. 8,071,536, "Mutant DNA polymerases with improved pyrophosphorolysis activated polymerization."

Keith Bauer and David Gelfand are named as inventors on the patent.

Discloses mutant DNA polymerases having improved extension rates relative to a corresponding, unmodified polymerase. The mutant polymerases are useful in a variety of disclosed primer extension methods. The patent also discloses related compositions, including recombinant nucleic acids, vectors, and host cells, which are useful for production of the mutant DNA polymerases.

The Scan

Not Yet a Permanent One

NPR says the lack of a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner has "flummoxed" public health officials.

Unfair Targeting

Technology Review writes that a new report says the US has been unfairly targeting Chinese and Chinese-American individuals in economic espionage cases.

Limited Rapid Testing

The New York Times wonders why rapid tests for COVID-19 are not widely available in the US.

Genome Research Papers on IPAFinder, Structural Variant Expression Effects, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Markers

In Genome Research this week: IPAFinder method to detect intronic polyadenylation, influence of structural variants on gene expression, and more.