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Applied Bio expands PCR program
August 2005
by Jeffrey Bouley  | 


FOSTER CITY, Calif.—Applied Biosystems Group recently launched its expanded polymerase chain reaction (PCR) licensing program, and announced in early July that the first licensee in this program would be Carlsbad, Calif.-based Invitrogen Corp. Financial terms of the license were not disclosed.
The primary feature of the expanded PCR program is that it includes patents for two forms of real-time PCR, known as the TaqMan assay and the Dye-Intercalation Assay method. Secondarily, the expanded program features the Hot-Start technology, an improved form of the Taq polymerase enzyme that can be used to initiate real-time PCR or conventional PCR.
In real-time PCR, the amplified DNA or RNA is detected during the PCR process instead of at the end of the process. This feature reportedly facilitates greater accuracy in critical applications like gene expression quantitation and genotyping.
This first license agreement "sets an important precedent," according to Dr. Paul D. Grossman, Applied Biosystems' vice president for strategic planning, business development and intellectual property. Invitrogen has been Applied Biosystems' largest PCR licensee, Grossman notes, and the company plans to negotiate similar licenses with other interested parties.
"Our continued and expanded license agreement with Applied Biosystems enables our customers to practice their quantitative PCR experiments with confidence and security," says Stuart Hepburn, vice president of corporate development for Invitrogen. The agreement, he adds, also helps reinforce the importance of—and Invitrogen's commitment to—strong patent protection across the industry as part of the process of driving innovation.
"Invitrogen is one of the largest suppliers of reagents in the life sciences field along with Applied Biosystems," says Paul Kotturi, product manager for PCR reagents for Applied Biosystems, "and it's important for us that the companies in our space recognize that Invitrogen has seen the value of this extended licensing program."
The importance of focusing on patent protection and promoting the new program lies in part with the fact that the foundational patent covering the PCR process expired in the United States in March 2005 and will expire elsewhere in March 2006.
Code: E080513



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