Chiron Corp. said Tuesday it has been granted a patent coveringits branched DNA (bDNA) signal amplification technology that isthe basis for its probe tests to directly detect and quantify thepresence of specific nucleic acids.

The patent's (U.S. 5,124,246) claims cover the synthesis of DNAhaving three or more ends (natural or cloned DNA has twoends), as well as assays based on the structure's compositionand methods to make and use bDNA.

Chiron uses its bDNA technology to detect and quantify DNA orRNA from patient samples. The company claims that the testsystem requires little or no purification of samples and iseasier to use than other nucleic acid detection technologies,such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

The ability to detect and quantify the amount of a viruspresent in a patient sample more accurately should allowphysicians to better detect disease and monitor treatment, theEmeryville, Calif., company (NASDAQ:CHIR) said.

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.