patent for SDA and LCR

Kevin O'Donnell odonnell at
Mon Jun 27 09:59:37 EST 1994

Alex Chang <lpss at> wrote :

>Anyone knows whether the technique of Stranded Displacement Assay and 
>Ligase Chain Reaction have been patented?
>Alex Chang
>University of British Columbia
>lpss at
The situation for LCR (Ligase Chain Reaction) is  complex, and depends 
upon who you ask.  The first LCR paper was written by Francis Barany (PNAS 
vol.88:189-193).  He would certainly seem to be the person who deserves 
the credit for developing the technique, and he has an association with 
Applied Biosystems, who may be marketing LCR-related products in the 
future.  However, Abbott Diagnostics also have a stake in LCR and can be 
quite stroppy if you phone them up and ask them about it.  Their interest 
lies in developing automated systems for diagnosis of human pathogens.  
Also on the schene are those companies producing LCR-related products, 
like Stratgene and New England Biolabs.

How it all fits together, I haven't quite worked out yet.  To get to the 
nub of your question, I have seen no actual LCR patent and have a 
suspicion/hope that the whole question of similar techniques and 
precedents is now so tortuous that there will not be one, but that 
individual applications (kits) will be patented.  The latest I have heard 
is a deal between Applied Biosystems and Abbott, whereby AB will provide 
Abbott with LCR systems for their kits.  What this means for ordinary 
researchers I don't know. 

Perhaps there is someone out there who is in a better position than me to 
continue this story?  

Kevin O'Donnell
Scottish Agricultural Science Agency     "We must combine pessimism 
East Craigs                               of the intellect with
Edinburgh           Tel. 031 244 8924     optimism of the will."
EH12 8NJ            Fax  031 244 8940
Scotland                                  Antonio Gramsci           
odonnell at

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