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URMC, Lighthouse Biosciences awarded US patent for diagnostic technology
Date:1/8/2009

The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) has received a U.S. patent for a diagnostic technology that can rapidly and accurately screen for organisms such as bacteria and other infectious agents. Lighthouse Biosciences, LLC, a Rochester-based life sciences company, is the exclusive worldwide license holder of the technology.

The company's technology platform called NanoLantern is a novel method of identifying genetic sequences from biological samples, a process that can be used to detect any organism or genetic feature by identifying its unique DNA fingerprint. The NanoLantern consists of an array of DNA probes that can be programmed from a database of known genetic signatures to simultaneously screen for multiple individual targets using a single sample of blood, urine, cells, or other substance with organic content. The U.S. patent is being awarded for the process the technology uses to identify DNA sequences. The method, first developed by University of Rochester scientists in 2003, promises to be faster and more precise than other existing models.

"This patent represents an important milestone in developing the company's intellectual property portfolio," said Rand Henke, CEO of Lighthouse Biosciences. "It addresses a breakthrough method that will allow the company to design and make at a low cost a very wide range of probes for the detection of most pathogens."

The company is in the process of developing a prototype that consists of a series of disposable biosensor cartridges or labs on a chip that will be housed in a workstation that can be deployed in hospitals, doctor's offices, nursing homes, or any other health care setting.

While the technology has a wide array of potential applications in healthcare, agriculture, food safety, water quality, and national security, Lighthouse Biosciences is initially focused on the field of hospital-acquired infections (HAI). HAI are infections that patients rec
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Contact: Mark Michaud
mark_michaud@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-4790
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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