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Oxford Nanopore Technologies has filed a patent for a new method of characterizing a target RNA using a transmembrane pore. The method involves hybridizing a primer to the target RNA, forming a complementary polynucleotide, and using a polynucleotide binding protein to control the movement of the polynucleotide through the pore. Measurements taken during this process can provide information about the characteristics of the target RNA. GlobalData’s report on Oxford Nanopore Technologies gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Oxford Nanopore Technologies, prognostic biomarkers was a key innovation area identified from patents. Oxford Nanopore Technologies's grant share as of June 2023 was 1%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

A method of characterizing rna using a transmembrane pore

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office(USPTO). Credit: Oxford Nanopore Technologies Plc

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230132387A9) describes a method for characterizing a target ribonucleic acid (RNA). The method involves several steps. First, a primer is hybridized to the target RNA, forming a complementary polynucleotide. The target RNA is then removed. Next, the complementary polynucleotide is contacted with a polynucleotide binding protein and a transmembrane pore. The polynucleotide binding protein controls the movement of the complementary polynucleotide through the pore. As the polynucleotide moves, one or more measurements are taken, which provide information about the characteristics of the complementary polynucleotide and, consequently, the target RNA.

The method does not involve polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR). The primer used in the method may contain a leader sequence and/or a region to which a polynucleotide binding protein can bind. The target RNA can be eukaryotic and may have a polyA tail. In this case, the primer hybridizes to the polyA tail and is used to reverse transcribe the target RNA into the complementary polynucleotide.

The characteristics of the complementary polynucleotide can be measured using electrical and/or optical measurements. Electrical measurements can include current measurement, impedance measurement, tunnelling measurement, or field effect transistor (FET) measurement.

The polynucleotide binding protein used in the method can be a polymerase, exonuclease, helicase, or topoisomerase. The transmembrane pore can be a transmembrane protein pore or a solid-state pore. Examples of transmembrane protein pores include hemolysin, leukocidin, Mycobacterium smegmatis porin A (MspA), MspB, MspC, MspD, outer membrane porin F (OmpF), outer membrane porin G (OmpG), outer membrane phospholipase A, Neisseria autotransporter lipoprotein (NalP), or WZA. The transmembrane protein pore can be formed of eight identical subunits or a variant thereof, or formed of seven identical subunits or a variant thereof.

The method can be used to characterize messenger RNA (mRNA) or microRNA (miRNA). In addition, the method can be used to diagnose or prognose a disease or condition associated with an altered amount and/or alternate splicing of mRNA or with a miRNA.

Overall, this patent describes a method for characterizing target RNA using a primer, polynucleotide binding protein, and transmembrane pore. The method does not involve PCR or RT-PCR and can be used to diagnose or prognose diseases or conditions associated with mRNA or miRNA.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies