Epoch Biosciences Inc., of Bothell, Wash., received U.S. Patent No. 6,683,173 titled "Tm (DNA Hybridization) Leveling Methods," covering the use of Minor Groove Binder technology and modified bases in designing probes and primers that work in the temperature range used in genetic analysis systems.

GenVec Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., was granted U.S. Patent No. 6,673,604 titled "Muscle Cells and Their Use in Cardiac Repair," which covers transplantable skeletal myoblast compositions that can be used to treat any cardiac condition including congestive heart failure, dilated cardiomyopathy or acute myocardial infarction. The company noted that the patent coverage also can be applied to other medical conditions that could be improved through muscle-cell transplantation.

Hybridon Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said the University of Massachusetts Medical School at Worcester was granted U.S. Patent No. 6,683,167 titled "Hybrid Oligonucleotide Phosphorothioates," which claims oligonucleotides comprising a deoxyribonucleotide, a 2'-substituted ribonucleotide, and a phosphorothioate or phosphorodithioate internucleotide linkage, where the 2'-substitution is either 2'-O-aryl ribonucleotide or a 2'-O-amino ribonucleotide. Hybridon has an exclusive license to the patent.

Lexicon Genetics Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas, was issued U.S. Patent No. 6,689,610, which covers a gene-targeting technology by encompassing a variety of methods of selecting desired genetic manipulations made by gene targeting. It specifically includes methods that are sometimes referred to as positive-positive selection.

Novogen Ltd., of Stamford, Conn., was granted a U.S. patent covering methods for treating all benign and malignant cancers with the anticancer drug phenoxodiol, including ovarian, breast, prostate and cervical cancer.

Repligen Corp., of Waltham, Mass., said the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the U.S. Navy received U.S. Patent No. 6,685,941 titled "Methods of Treating Autoimmune Disease via CTLA4-Ig," covering a method of treating rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosis and scleroderma with CTLA4-Ig and the use of CTLA4-Ig in combination with other immunosuppressants. Repligen owns the exclusive rights to the patent.

Whatman Inc., of Clifton, N.J., was granted two U.S. patents for its Whatman FTA technology, which allows for the safe and rapid isolation of pure DNA at room temperature.