Nanogen subsidiary, Epoch Biosciences issued new patent

Nanogen announced today its subsidiary, Epoch Biosciences, was issued Patent No. 6,951,930, "Hybridization-Triggered Fluorescent Detection of Nucleic Acids" by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The '930 patent relates to latent fluorophore-minor groove binder oligonucleotide conjugates which fluoresce upon hybridization to a target. The conjugates may be used to detect nucleic acid targets. The technology described in the patent also allows for simpler and faster fluorescent real-time molecular analyses.

Sensitive and specific detection of nucleic acid targets play an integral role in any molecular application, including infectious and genetic disease diagnostics. Using the latent fluorescent-minor groove binder oligonucleotide conjugates, with low fluorescing backgrounds, either as primers or probes, can create improved diagnostic reagents. These reagents contain shorter highly conserved sequence regions improving assay specificity, and the probes are non-cleavable which allows post-PCR melt curve analysis.

"Nanogen and the Epoch researchers are continually discovering methods to improve the sensitivity and specificity of detection for nucleic acid targets related to disease," said Howard C. Birndorf, Nanogen chairman and chief executive officer. "Nanogen's MGB products that incorporate this improved, fluorescent target detection technology are well recognized by many researchers and diagnostic labs as the standard for real-time PCR probe and primer technology. Our strong intellectual property and technology development capabilities will allow us to bring highly valued molecular diagnostic products to the market and our partners and ultimately help change healthcare practices."

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