Repligen Corp., of Waltham, Mass., received a notice of allowance for a patent covering the use of CTLA4-Ig for rheumatoid arthritis. The patent, which will remain in force until 2020, also covers a method of treating 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 through a license agreement with the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the U.S. Navy. It is independent from patents on CTLA4-Ig that are the subject of a lawsuit brought by Repligen and the university against Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., of New York.

VIRxSYS Corp., of Gaithersburg, Md., was issued U.S. Patent No. 6,627,442 titled "Methods for stable transduction of cells with viral vectors," covering a method for achieving greater-than 90 percent stable transduction of primary hematopoietic cells by HIV-based lentiviral vectors. More specific claims cover methods for stable gene delivery to lymphocytes, dendritic cells and hematopoietic stem cells.

Xencor Inc., of Monrovia, Calif., was awarded U.S. Patent No. 6,627,186 titled "Nucleic Acids and Protein Variants of G-CSF with Granulopoietic Activity." It covers a range of G-CSF variants, molecules, Xencor said, were designed with its Protein Design Automation technology with enhanced stability and novel sequences while matching the biological activity of native G-CSF.