September 21, 2006 – Takara Bio, Inc. (Shiga, Japan) announced today that they have entered into a license agreement with Applied Biosystems Group, an Applera Corporation business, under the expanded Applied Biosystems PCR (polymerase chain reaction) licensing program. The expanded program includes patents for real-time PCR and other important PCR-related technologies not licensed under the previous PCR licensing program. Financial terms of the license were not disclosed.
The expanded program follows an agreement signed in May 2005 between Applera and Hoffmann-La Roche authorizing Applied Biosystems to be the sole licensor of Roche patents covering reagents and methods for practicing PCR and real-time PCR in the life science research and applied fields. The expanded PCR licensing program includes licenses to the foundational patents as well as the two leading real-time PCR techniques known as the TaqMan® assay and the Dye-Intercalation Assay method. It also includes patents covering an improved form of the Taq polymerase enzyme used to initiate PCR and referred to as Hot-Start.
Although the foundational patents covering the PCR process expired in the United States in March 2005 and elsewhere in March 2006, numerous other patents related to PCR remain in force. These surviving patents cover, for example, enzyme compositions, kits, and methods such as reverse transcription and DNA sequencing.
Clontech Laboratories, Inc. (Mountain View, CA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Takara Bio, also obtained the same license as an affiliate of Takara Bio.