Han lab turns out first patent for institute
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology has been awarded a patent for a new, rapid response method to detect pathogens from clinical samples. The method— amplicon rescue multiplex polymerase chain reaction for amplification of multiple targets— is highly sensitive and as the name implies, can differentiate between pathogens that symptomatically display very similarly among populations. It is the first patent awarded for institute-generated intellectual property.
“The ARM-PCR method can be used to detect pathogens among patient populations, as well as in samples to monitor food safety,” said Jian Han, M.D. Ph.D, faculty investigator at HudsonAlpha and inventor of the new technology. “There are others applications for ARM-PCR as well,” said Han, “including areas in agriculture, biodefense and environmental remediation.” Han added that the ARM-PCR method is faster and more sensitive than other methods currently in the market.
The intellectual property has already been licensed to iCubate, a company with headquarters located in the HudsonAlpha facility. Carter Wells, chief executive officer of iCubate, said the company has created an automated system that uses the new method to process samples in a closed, disposable cassette. “The closed cassette will virtually eliminate opportunities for contamination,” said Wells.
“Intelligent, immediate, impact: These words help capture what iCubate wants to take into the marketplace,” added Wells. The company has also introduced an open platform for developing and marketing a variety of tests.
O’Neal Smitherman, Ph.D., executive vice president for HudsonAlpha, said the patent award signals a success for the institute’s model to facilitate collaboration between scientists working at the non-profit organization and businesses. “It has always been the intent of the institute to quickly move discoveries made in the lab to market,” said Smitherman. “Dr. Han has invented a technology that holds tremendous promise in both creating jobs and improving quality of life. It is truly what the institute is all about.”
More information on the iCubate system and platform is available at www.icubate.com.
The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama, is the cornerstone of the Cummings Research Park Biotechnology Campus. The campus hosts a synergistic cluster of life sciences talent – science, education and business professionals – that promises collaborative innovation to turn knowledge and ideas into commercial products and services for improving human health and strengthening Alabama’s progressively diverse economy. The non-profit institute is housed in a state-of-the-art, 270,000 square-ft. facility strategically located in the nation’s second largest research park. HudsonAlpha has a three-fold mission of genomic research, economic development and educational outreach.