Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp., of Phoenix, was issued a U.S. patent on its Lustra and Lustra-AF brands of hydroquinone. Lustra and Lustra-AF are indicated for the treatment of ultraviolet-induced skin discolorations and hyperpigmentation associated with pregnancy, superficial trauma, and the use of oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy.

Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., was issued U.S. Patent No. 5,908,609 titled "Screening Methods for Compounds Useful in the Regulation of Body Weight." It relates to the identification of weight-regulating therapeutics that modulate the melanocortin-4 receptor.

Nature Technology Corp., of Lincoln, Neb., was issued U.S. Patent No. 5,879,933, which covers the process, materials, and uses of retrotransposons for transfer and/or expression of genes into cells and organisms.

Orchid Biocomputer Inc., of Princeton, N.J., was issued U.S. Patent No. 5,888,819 titled "Method for Determining Nucleotide Identity Through Primer Extension." It covers a single nucleotide polymorphism pharmacogenetics technology known as primer extension genotyping.

Sequenom Inc., of San Diego, was issued U.S. Patent No. 5,928,906 titled "Process for Direct Sequencing During Template Amplification." It covers technology of simultaneous DNA amplification and base-specific termination in one reaction vessel.

Unigene Laboratories Inc., of Fairfield, N.J., was issued U.S. Patent No. 5,912,014, covering the company's technology for oral delivery of calcitonin for the treatment of osteoporosis and other disorders.