Solexa, Inc. has announced two significant additions to its intellectual property (IP) portfolio. These advances relate to the use of reversible-terminator chemistry in DNA Sequencing-by-Synthesis (SBS) using either single molecules or clonal single molecules.
The allowed claims combine with the company's existing patent portfolio, which has been bolstered throughout the year by both internal developments and acquisition of key IP, to enhance Solexa's position in the field of SBS using amplified or non-amplified single molecule arrays.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have given notice of allowance to Solexa of key claims of a patent application covering the use of reversibly labeled terminators in Sequencing-by-Synthesis.
In particular, this application covers the simultaneous removal of the 3'-blocks and nucleotide labels during the SBS process, which provides the advantage of significantly shorter reaction times and greater system throughput.
In addition to allowance of this key patent, Solexa also disclosed that it has acquired a set of early patents in the area of reversible-terminator chemistry.
These U.S. patents (5,872,244; 6,235,465; 6,214,987; 5,808,045; 5,763,594) predate Solexa's own work in the area of reversible terminators and cover a broad range of chemical structures, which can be used for reversible termination.
The acquisition of these key early patents, which the company completed in the second quarter of 2005, highlights Solexa's strategy to identify and acquire key intellectual property to complement its internal IP development in the field.
The company's portfolio, which includes patents applicable to single molecule arrays, amplified clusters of single molecules, and other multi-molecule array formats including beads, provides broad coverage over a range of techniques applicable to the development of next-generation genetic analysis systems using Sequencing-by-Synthesis.
“By combining acquired IP with strong internal research and development, we have been able to build an exceptional patent portfolio as we prepare to commercialize our first-generation product based on SBS, the Solexa Genome Analysis System,” stated John West, chief executive officer of Solexa.
“We believe Solexa's technology, aided by a growing intellectual property estate, is uniquely positioned to provide the accuracy and density necessary to enable highly economical large-scale genetic analysis, including whole genome resequencing and expression profiling.”
Over the past year Solexa has made substantial progress in developing its IP portfolio in single-molecule and Clonal-Single-Molecule Array™ technology.
Recently granted U.S. patents include numbers 6,787,308 and 6,833,246, which cover the use and formation of single molecule arrays for base-by-base DNA sequencing.
These patents are based on the seminal work conducted by Solexa, as well as by its scientific founders at the University of Cambridge, England, and members of its scientific advisory board.
The company also has been allowed claims for two of its patent cases related to the creation of Clonal-Single-Molecule Array devices, also known as DNA cluster arrays.
These claims, which are associated with the technology Solexa acquired from Manteia S.A. in 2004, enable the company to generate highly dense clusters of DNA on a surface, and to determine the sequence of potentially 10 million clusters derived from single molecules per square centimeter.
Leveraging this density, Solexa's Genome Analysis System is designed to generate one billion bases of sequence per single instrument run, exceeding the per-run output of current industry-standard sequencers by two orders of magnitude.