Avitar (Canton, Massachusetts) said it has received a notice of allowance on a patent for an oral fluid collection device used for DNA PCR-based (polymerase chain reaction) testing. The invention includes the use of Avitar's hydrophilic foam and provides a simple and inexpensive method for collecting and delivering an oral fluid sample. The device covered by the patent is used for delivering the sample to a collection matrix, drying the sample on the collection matrix and subsequently isolating DNA from the sample for PCR-based testing. Applications include DNA testing for forensic and paternal identification, RNA testing, antibody testing, testing for specified drugs and other similar diagnostic procedures.

Biophan Technologies (West Henrietta, New York) said U.S. patent No. 6,902,290 has been granted to the company. The patent teaches the placement of an electronic sensor within medical devices that can offset the image artifacts that interfere with the quality of MRI imaging. Biophan's intellectual property portfolio now comprises 127 U.S. issued or pending patents and 46 international issued or pending patents. "This patent is part of our technology suite for making medical devices safe and compatible for operation with MRI imaging," said Michael Weiner, Biophan CEO. He said the company's patents, the majority of which address the safety and the image compatibility between MRI systems and implantable and interventional medical devices, "allows us to supply manufacturers with a toolkit of solutions to resolve the MRI-safety and image-quality problems inherent in many medical devices, both on the market and on the drawing boards."

Xenomics (New York) said it has filed a U.S. patent application for technology enabling the improved detection of tuberculosis based on its proprietary Transrenal DNA technology, which uses urine samples. The tuberculosis testing application of this technology was developed as part of Xenomics' joint venture with the Italian National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Rome. Because it was developed in Italy, an initial patent for the discovery was filed initially in that country, followed by a broader European patent recently, in accordance with international patent laws. Randy White, MD, Xenomics CEO, said the TB detection method also provides improved detection for HIV.