A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Optherion, (New Haven), a developer of molecular diagnostics and treatments for dry and wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and other chronic diseases involving the alternative complement system, reported that the Canadian Patent Office has granted patents 2,363,503 and 2,407,715.

The claims of the issued patents provides protection for diagnostic tests to determine the predisposition to AMD by screening for genetic modifications in several genes including complement factor H, complement factor B, complement factor 2 and complement factor 3, amongst others. Optherion has an exclusive worldwide license to these Canadian patents and corresponding patents and applications from the University of Iowa Research Foundation (Iowa City).

Colin Foster, president/CEO of Optherion, said, "With these and other patents pending, licensed from almost a dozen universities, we are well positioned to exclusively offer a range of predictive and prognostic diagnostic tests to healthcare professionals treating patients with AMD and other diseases of the alternative complement system."

Optherion is developing a genetic test for AMD and said it is pursuing commercialization discussions with North American and international providers.

In other patent news, Aperio Technologies (Vista, California) a developer of digital pathology products for healthcare and the life sciences, reported that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued the it patent No. 7,502,519, covering systems and methods for image pattern recognition using vector quantization (VQ). Aperio said that this is it second patent on the use of VQ for pattern recognition applications.

As pathology labs, hospitals, biopharma companies and educational institutions increasingly adopt digital pathology, they generate vast libraries of digital slides used for disease management, research and education and historically accessed via text-based labels such as tissue type, patient age or primary diagnosis.

Aperio's VQ technology enables content-based image retrieval (CBIR) enabling library searches of digital slides using image data, and to retrieve similar images from a large image archive. It also enables searches using image regions of interest in addition to text-based searches. Additionally VQ enables searching for exceptions, such as regions of an image which are different from previously characterized images.

Aperio says that its patent portfolio "encompasses all of the elements that comprise a digital pathology system, including digital slide creation, data management, advanced visualization, and image analysis."