Hayward, CA - November 22, 2002 - Biolog,
Inc. announced today that it has received another
patent on its Phenotype MicroArray (PM)
technology. The patent, number 6,387,651, is granted
for comparative phenotypic analysis of two or
more microorganisms using a number of substrates
within a microwell device. This patent, along
with other recently announced patents, brings
the number of patents granted to 20. 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 covers both methods and compositions
for phenotypic analysis of eukaryotic (e.g., fungal
and mammalian) as well as prokaryotic (e.g., eubacterial
and archaebacterial) cells.
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.
Also well along in development are protocols for
a wide variety of yeasts, such as Saccharomyces
and Candida and filamentous fungi including
pathogens such as Aspergillus spp. Phenotype
MicroArrays are expected to become standard, essential
tools for genomic-based drug development.
Salmonella, Vibrio, and Listeria
species can act as acute, invasive pathogens to
humans. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia
cepacia are common environmental bacteria
that can cause persistent infections in humans,
for example lung infections in cystic fibrosis
patients, eye infections, bone infections, septicemias,
as well as a leading cause of nosocomial infections.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is particularly
problematic because it is highly resistant to
antibiotic therapy. Ralstonia solanacearum
and other Pseudomonas and Burkholderia
species are important agents of plant disease.
Sinorhizobium meliloti is an important
beneficial microbe that helps plants grow by aiding
fixation of nitrogen.
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 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
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.
For more information, please contact Tim Mullane,
President & CEO, Biolog, Inc., telephone (510)
785-2564 x 319 / firstname.lastname@example.org
or Robert Koenig, Public Affairs Manager, The
Institute for Genomic Research, telephone (301)
838-5880 / email@example.com.