A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Monogram Biosciences (South San Francisco, California) reported winning three U.S. patents (Nos. 7,402,397; 7,402,398 and 7,402,399) for its VeraTag technology.

The company said that the patents relate to the VeraTag technology for methods of detecting and profiling protein complexes, including protein homodimers and heterodimers. A European patent (No. 1278760) has also been issued for these claims, Monogram said.

The company says that being able to detect and profile protein complexes is important because proteins achieve their biological function when they interact, form protein complexes, and thereby trigger cellular signaling processes. In this way, protein complexes are pivotal in regulating cellular survival and proliferation in normal and cancer cells.

Examples of these protein complexes are those involving the same proteins pairing up to form "homodimers" and different proteins pairing up to form "heterodimers." Being able to detect and profile normal and aberrant protein complexes, such as homodimers and heterodimers, is believed to be important for predicting patient prognosis and response to therapy, Monogram said.

The patent claims cover all types of protein complexes, including homodimers and heterodimers, detected with the VeraTag method.

"The latest issued patents provide patent protection for some of the most important applications of our VeraTag technology — those related to the identification of protein complexes," said William Young, Monogram's CEO. "We believe that determining the status of particular protein complexes, such as homodimers and heterodimers, will be important for determining whether a patient's tumor will respond to certain drugs."

Monogram reports its worldwide patent portfolio including 78 issued and pending patents and patent applications related to its VeraTag technology, 102 issued and pending patents and patent applications related to its virology technology, and 101 issued and pending patents and patent applications related to its microfluidics technology.

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