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IP Watch: Takara Bio, Abbott, Gen-Probe, CalTech, U of Utah, Penn State, and Duke Win US Patents

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Takara Bio has been awarded US Patent No. 8,048,987, "Polypeptides having DNA polymerase activity."

Yoshimi Sato, Kazue Nishiwaki, Nana Shimada, Shigekazu Hokazono, Takashi Uemori, Hiroyuki Mukai, and Ikunoshin Kato are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a polypeptide that has high-fidelity DNA polymerase activity and is thus useful as a genetic engineering reagent. The patent also describes a gene encoding this polypeptide; a method of producing the polypeptide; and a method of amplifying a nucleic acid using the polypeptide.


Abbott has been awarded US Patent No. 8,048,633, "Methods of performing nucleic acid amplification assays using modified primers."

Gordon Collier, John Wood, Jason MacLeod, William Dicke, Attila Nemeth, and Cary Miller are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to a method for extracting nucleic acid from cells, amplifying segments of nucleic acid using modified primers, and detecting nucleic acids.


The University of Utah has been awarded US Patent No. 8,048,631, "Reducing non-target nucleic acid-dependent amplifications: amplifying repetitive nucleic acid sequences."

Richard Cawthon is named as inventor on the patent. Cawthon is a researcher in the department of human genetics at the University of Utah and is a member of the scientific and clinical advisory board of Telome Health.

Provides compositions and methods for amplifying target nucleic acids using nucleic acid primers designed to limit non-target nucleic acid dependent priming events. The invention permits amplifying and quantifying the number of repetitive units in a repetitive region, such as the number of telomere repetitive units.


Penn State University has been awarded US Patent No. 8,048,629, "Detection of extracellular tumor-associated nucleic acid in blood plasma or serum."

Christopher Gocke and Michael Kopreski are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to the detection of specific extracellular DNA in plasma or serum fractions of human or animal blood associated with neoplastic, pre-malignant, or proliferative disease. More specifically, the invention relates to detection of tumor-associated DNA, and to those methods of detecting and monitoring tumor-associated DNA found in the plasma or serum fraction of blood by using DNA extraction and amplification with or without enrichment for DNA. The invention allows the selection and monitoring of patients for various cancer therapies including receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapies.


Duke University has been awarded US Patent No. 8,048,628, "Methods for nucleic acid amplification on a printed circuit board."

Michael Pollack, Vamsee Pamula, and Richard Fair are named as inventors on the patent. Pollack and Pamular are co-founders of Duke spinout Advanced Liquid Logic.

Discloses methods for amplifying nucleic acid on a printed circuit board substrate. The amplification can be achieved through a variety of methods such as thermocycling or isothermally. The printed circuit board substrate can comprise an array of electrodes for transporting droplets and can be part of a sandwich structure including a top plate parallel to the printed circuit board substrate.


The California Institute of Technology has been awarded US Patent No. 8,048,626, "Multiplex qPCR arrays."

Arjang Hassibi, Babak Hassibi, and Haris Vikalo are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides methods and systems for measuring the concentration of multiple nucleic acid sequences in a sample. The nucleic acid sequences in the sample are simultaneously amplified, for example, using PCR in the presence of an array of nucleic acid probes. The amount of amplicon corresponding to the multiple nucleic acid sequences can be measured in real time during or after each cycle using a real-time microarray. The measured amount of amplicon produced can be used to determine the original amount of the nucleic acid sequences in the sample.


Gen-Probe has been awarded US Patent No. 8,047,086, "Method and apparatus for stripping a contact-limiting element from a pipette probe."

Robert Smith is named as inventor on the patent.

Describes an automated analyzer for performing multiple diagnostic assays simultaneously. The analyzer includes multiple stations, or modules, in which discrete aspects of the assay are performed on fluid samples contained in reaction receptacles. The analyzer includes stations for automatically preparing a specimen sample, incubating the sample at prescribed temperatures for prescribed periods, isolating an analyte, and ascertaining the presence of a target analyte. An automated receptacle-transporting system moves the reaction receptacles from one station to the next.

The analyzer further includes devices for carrying a plurality of specimen tubes and disposable pipette tips in a machine-accessible manner; a device for agitating containers of target capture reagents comprising suspensions of solid support material and for presenting the containers for machine access thereto; and a device for holding containers of reagents in a temperature-controlled environment and presenting the containers for machine access thereto.

The patent further describes a method for performing an automated diagnostic assay by automatically moving each of a plurality of reaction receptacles containing a solid support material and a fluid sample between stations for incubating the contents of the reaction receptacle and for separating the target analyte bound to the solid support from the fluid sample. An amplification reagent is added to the separated analyte after the analyte-separation step and before a final incubation step.

The Scan

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A new report criticizes the global response to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nature News reports.

Pushed a Bit Later

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AMA Announces Anti-Racism Effort

The Associated Press reports that the American Medical Association has released a plan to address systemic racism in healthcare.

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