CA - March 22, 2004 - Biolog, Inc. announced today
that it has received another patent on its Phenotype MicroArray™
(PM) technology. The patent, number US 6,696,239, is granted
for comparative phenotypic analysis for assessment of biological
active compounds. This patent, along with other recently announced
patents, extends the number of patents granted on the PM technology.
The company now has over 22 patents on its cellular assay
technologies. The PM technology has applications in multiple
areas of research, ranging from basic research to high-throughput
screening of chemical compounds against cells. Already working
with a diverse list of microbial species including microbes
used in antibiotic drug discovery, the technology is being
extended to other cell lines.
This patent relates to using the PM panels
to improve the effectiveness, throughput, and efficiency of
testing and commercial development of biologically active
compounds, in particular those useful in human, animal, and
plant health. The Phenotype MicroArray™ technology has
already been applied to a number of bacteria and fungi.
Organisms already tested in the PM technology
include gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli, Salmonella
typhimurium, Vibrio spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Burkholderia
cepacia, Ralstonia solanacearum, and Sinorhizobium meliloti.
Gram-positive bacteria include Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus
spp., Bacillus spp., and Listeria monocytogenes. Yeast and
filamentous fungi include Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida
albicans and fungal pathogens such as Aspergillus spp. Phenotype
MicroArrays are expected to become standard, essential tools
for cellular analysis and genomic-based drug development.
Biolog is working to expand the technology to human cell lines
in the near future.
Phenotype MicroArrays represent a fundamental
platform technology that allows scientists to easily and efficiently
test hundreds to thousands of cellular traits. The technology
has many uses, but the two most important uses are to determine
the effect of genetic changes on cells and to determine the
effect of drugs on cells. For example, many laboratories at
both research universities and pharmaceutical/biotech companies
want to understand the biological differences between harmless
or beneficial strains of microbes and dangerous pathogenic
strains of the same species. Genes involved in pathogenicity
can be genetically knocked out or turned off via antisense
induction methods. The PMs are then used to compare the cell
line with the genetic change and see how its physiological
properties (phenotypes) have changed. This provides basic
insight into the disease process and also validates potential
new targets for antibiotics.
The current focus of the company is to develop
similar arrays that will work with human cells. The company
also has an active technology-licensing program to use the
current generation of PMs for development of anti-bacterial
and anti-fungal drugs.
Biolog, a privately held company based in
Hayward, CA, is a pioneer in the development of powerful new
cell analysis tools for solving critical problems in clinical,
pharmaceutical, and biotechnology research and development.
The company’s Phenotype MicroArray™ technology
and OmniLog® PM System can be used in the discovery
and development of new drugs as well as bioactive agents for
animal and plant applications. Further information can be
obtained at the company’s website, www.biolog.com.