Celgene Corp., of Warren, N.J., was granted U.S. Patent No. 6,541,605 covering polypeptides of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases that are involved in the p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase pathways.

Chiral Quest Inc., of State College, Pa., said the Penn State Research Foundation received U.S. Patent No. 6,534,657 covering the compositions of matter and use for a series of chiral phosphine ligands and catalysts with forrocene backbones. Chiral Quest exclusively licenses the patent from its chief technology officer.

Diversa Corp., of San Diego, was granted U.S. Patent No. 6,537,776 directed to Tunable GeneReassembly, its next-generation evolution technology designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of gene optimization methods.

Lorus Therapeutics Inc., of Toronto, was awarded a patent titled "Immunomodulating compositions for treatment of immune system disorders." Lorus said the patent protects its intellectual property for its lead immunotherapeutic anticancer product, Virulizin, which is in a U.S.-based Phase III trial for pancreatic cancer.

Medicure Inc., of Winnepeg, Manitoba, said it was issued notices of allowance for two patents covering use of its compounds to treat various cardiovascular diseases. The first relates to a series of small molecules from its antithrombotics program, and the second is for the treatment of cerebrovascular disease using other internally discovered compounds.

Palatin Technologies Inc., of Cranbury, N.J., was issued a notice of allowance for a patent covering the active compound in PT-141, its lead drug in development for male and female sexual dysfunction. The patent, which Palatin said would likely be issued this summer, covers both the specific peptide used in PT-141 and the pharmaceutical composition for stimulating sexual response.

Provectus Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Knoxville, Tenn., received U.S. Patent No. 6,541,223 covering methods used to isolate, identify and produce previously unknown viral agents.

Sheffield Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Rochester, N.Y., was granted U.S. Patent No. 6,527,151, which describes the control of airflows about an aqueous aerosol-generating surface to optimize particle size distribution.

StemCells Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., said the Scripps Research Institute was granted U.S. Patent No. 6,541,251 covering methods for isolating pancreatic progenitor cells in mammals, including humans. StemCells has the exclusive license to the patent, which arose out of research at the institute under funding from the company.