Acacia Research Corp., of Pasadena, Calif., said its subsidiary, CombiMatrix Corp., received a notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the core patent on its novel biochip. The biochip system integrates the miniaturization of semiconductors with new developments in biotechnology and chemistry.

Advanced Cell Technology Inc., of Worcester, Mass., was issued U.S. Patent No. 5,945,577 covering an improved method of cloning non-human mammals using nuclear transfer technology. The technique allows company scientists to create identical cells and animals with or without genetic modifications.

Agennix Inc., of Houston, received three new patents relating to the production of recombinant human lactoferrin - in Korea, the Philippines and Europe. Each is titled "Production of Recombinant Human Lactoferrin." The company also was issued two patents in Japan, No. 2701976 titled "Human Lactoferrin cDNA Sequence" and No. 2824332 titled "Production of Recombinant Human Lactoferrin." The patents are related to the production of recombinant human lactoferrin, with one specifically covering the DNA sequence for human lactoferrin.

Angstrom Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, was issued U.S. Patent No. 5,942,492 titled "Cyclic Peptides that Bind to Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator Receptor." It covers cyclic peptides the company is developing to inactivate or alternatively to target a key receptor involved in the tumor angiogenesis and tumor metastasis.

Aphios Corp., of Woburn, Mass., was issued U.S. Patent No. 5,776,486 titled "Method and Apparatus for Making Liposomes Containing Hydrophobic Drugs." It covers the process of dissolving hydrophobic drug and liposomal raw materials in supercritical, critical or near-critical fluids with or without cosolvents (SuperFluids), which are then used to form small, uniform liposomes with a high encapsulation efficiency.

BioSpecifics Technologies Corp., of Lynbrook, N.Y., and Tufts University were issued U.S. Patent No. 5,851,522 for a wound healing technology that has promise to accelerate the healing of normal and abnormal wounds. The technology is an enzyme formulation that enhances cell migration and growth.

Cell Pathways Inc., of Horsham, Pa., was issued U.S. Patent No. 5,948,779 covering its second investigational drug, CP461, and related compounds. A Phase Ib clinical study with CP461 as a treatment for cancer is under way.

CombiChem Inc., of San Diego, was issued U.S. Patent No. 5,767,238 titled "Inverse Solid Phase Synthesis." It covers the general use of a solid phase matrix to separate product from reactants in the solution synthesis of organic molecules.

Cortex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Irvine, Calif., was awarded a notice of allowance for two U.S. patents titled "Positive AMPA Receptor Modulation to Enhance Brain Neurotrophic Factor Expression" and "Benzoxazine Compounds for Enhancing Synaptic Response."

Diatide Inc., of Londonderry, N.H., was issued U.S. Patent No. 5,932,189 titled "Cyclic Hexapeptide Somatostatin Analogs." It covers the composition and methods of use of somatostatin analogues the company is developing to target therapeutic and diagnostic agents to tumors.

Digene Corp., of Beltsville, Md., was issued a European patent for its Hybrid Capture technology. The technology uses signal amplification to detect as few as 100 molecules of DNA or RNA.

Interleukin Genetics Inc., of San Antonio, has filed for U.S. patent protection for a gene involved in the control of inflammations. The gene regulates the activity of interleukin-1.

Karo Bio AB, of Sweden, was issued a European patent on the estrogen receptor beta. It covers 17 European countries and gives the company and its collaborator, Merck & Co. Inc., rights to the isolated receptor and its use in drug discovery and design methods.

Matritech Inc., of Newton, Mass., was issued U.S. Patent No. 5,882,876 for its invention using a nuclear matrix protein in Matritech's urine-based NMP22 Test Kit for bladder cancer. It is the sixth patent the company has secured covering methods and compositions relating to cancer-specific nuclear matrix proteins.

North American Vaccine, of Columbia, Md., was issued a U.S. patent for a group B streptococcal (GBS) vaccine, which incorporates a GBS polysaccharide conjugated to a C protein alpha antigen or beta antigen of GBS.

Protein Design Labs Inc., of Fremont, Calif., was issued a European patent covering methods for producing humanized monoclonal antibodies. It covers the antibodies that have certain amino acid substitutions in their human frameworks.

SanguiBioTech AG, of Witten, Germany, a subsidiary of Sangui BioTech International Inc., was issued a U.S. patent for its method to protect the artificial oxygen carrier from oxidation and thereby from inactivation by the use of certain ligands.

Transgene, of Strasbourg, France, has received a notice of allowance from the U.S. PTO on a patent covering its cancer vaccine technology. The patent titled "Expression of a tumor-specific antigen by a recombinant virus vector and use thereof," covers methods of treating virally induced tumors and viral vectors encoding the essential region of a non-structural protein from papillomavirus.

UroGenesys Inc., of Santa Monica, Calif., said the University of California, Los Angeles, was issued U.S. Patent No. 5,919,652 for promoter sequences of the human prostate specific antigen and their uses for gene therapy applications in prostate cancer. The patent is licensed exclusively to UroGenesys.