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Olink Bioscience Acquires Rolling Circle Amplification Patents from In Situ RCP

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This story was originally posted on Nov. 18.

Olink Bioscience of Uppsala, Sweden, this week said that it has acquired three patents related to rolling circle amplification from Danish biotech firm In Situ RCP.

Olink plans to use the IP — which includes patents related to target-primed rolling circle amplification and methods for amplification of circular molecules — to expand its Duolink proximity ligation assay technology for detecting proteins, protein interactions, and protein modifications.

Duolink uses two bi-functional probes that each include an antibody attached to a synthetic oligonucleotide that acts as a reporter. Once both antibodies bind to a target, the synthetic oligos are ligated and can then be amplified in order to read the signal.

Björn Ekström, president and CEO of Olink, told PCR Insider via e-mail that the Duolink line relies on RCA as its signal amplification system.

The patents cover "several aspects" of the RCA technology, but the company is particularly interested in the target-primed RCA because it can enable "single cell/single molecule in situ detection of nucleic acids," he said.

In Situ RCP was spun out of Aarhus University in 2006 to commercialize RCA technology and other methods developed by pathologist Jørgen Koch and colleagues at the university.

The European Patent Office lists four patents with In Situ RCP as the applicant: No. WO2009006907, titled "Padlock Probe Amplification Methods;" No. WO2008148392, titled "Enzyme Activity Assay Using Rolling Circle Amplification;" and Nos. CN101238221 and CN101213310, both titled "Methods for Production of Oligonucleotides."

Molecular Staging, a Yale University spinout, was granted a number of US patents for rolling circle technology before being acquired by Qiagen in 2004.

Ekström explained that In Situ RCP's Koch had collaborated with MSI on some aspects of the RCA technology, but had also "independently developed and patented several aspects" of the approach.

He added that the collaboration with MSI "was eventually discontinued and all [Koch's] rights were returned to him." The RCA IP was transferred to In Situ RCP when it was founded in 2006, he said.

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