Nanogen Expands Patent Portfolio in Genetic Analysis Technologies

    SAN DIEGO, Dec. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Nanogen, Inc. (Nasdaq:   NGEN),
 developer of advanced diagnostic products, announced today that its subsidiary
 Epoch Biosciences has been issued two patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark
 Office for technologies related to genetic analysis.  The new patents further
 bolster Nanogen's intellectual property position in genetic analysis
 technologies.  U.S. Patent 6,972,339 "Compounds and Methods for Fluorescent
 Labeling," covers technologies that allow the high-throughput synthesis of
 fluorescently labeled nucleic acid probes and primers.  The second, U.S.
 Patent No. 6,972,328, "Non-aggregating Non-quenching Oligomers Comprising
 Nucleotide Analogs, Method of Synthesis and Use Thereof" relates to the
 synthesis and use of pyrazoloprimidine and 7-deazapurine nucleosides as
 replacements for the natural guanosine nucleoside in diagnostic nucleic acid
 oligomers.
     "Our extensive investment in the development of genetic analysis
 technologies is paying off with the building of a strong IP portfolio in
 real-time PCR, mirroring our strong position in electronic microarrays," noted
 Howard C. Birndorf, chairman and chief executive officer of Nanogen.  "As
 molecular diagnostics gains further market penetration, these underlying
 technologies position Nanogen to address labs' needs with differentiated
 advanced diagnostic products."
     The '339 patent describes novel fluorescent dyes and methods of
 preparation of fluorescently labeled biological probes including the
 high-throughput manufacturing of nucleic acid probes and primers that are used
 in Nanogen's MGB Alert(TM) and MGB Eclipse(R) assay formats.  The
 manufacturing methods covered by the '339 patent may be applicable to other
 genomic analysis formats used in competitors' DNA sequencing, genotyping and
 gene expression analysis assays.  By manufacturing nucleic acid probes and
 primers with such labor-saving techniques, Nanogen can reduce costs and
 deliver more economical products to the company's customers.
     The '328 patent relates to the use of pyrazolopyrimidine and 7-deazapurine
 nucleosides as replacements for the natural guanosine (G) nucleoside in
 nucleic acid probes.  PCR-based assays that target sequences rich in G
 residues can be difficult or impossible to perform under normal conditions
 because of the formation of self-aggregates.  In addition, G residues can
 cause an undesirable fluorescence quenching effect in probe-based PCR
 chemistries.  The use of Nanogen's proprietary pyrazolopyrimidines can resolve
 these performance issues and result in improved molecular diagnostic reagents.
 
     About Nanogen, Inc.
     Nanogen's advanced technologies provide researchers, clinicians and
 physicians worldwide with improved methods and tools to predict, diagnose, and
 ultimately help treat disease.  The company's products include real-time PCR
 reagents, the NanoChip(R) electronic microarray platform and a line of
 reagents useful in rapid diagnostic tests.  Nanogen's ten years of pioneering
 research involving nanotechnology holds the promise of miniaturization and
 continues to be supported for its potential for diagnostic and biowarfare
 applications.  For additional information please visit Nanogen's website at
 www.nanogen.com.
 
     Nanogen Forward-Looking Statement
     This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to
 risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially
 from those set forth in the forward-looking statements, including whether
 patents owned or licensed by Nanogen will be developed into products, whether
 the patents owned by Nanogen offer any protection against competitors with
 competing technologies, whether products under development can be successfully
 developed and commercialized, whether results reported by our customers or
 partners can be identically replicated, and other risks and uncertainties
 discussed under the caption "Factors That May Affect Results" and elsewhere in
 Nanogen's Form 10-K or Form 10-Q most recently filed with the Securities and
 Exchange Commission.  These forward-looking statements speak only as of the
 date hereof.  Nanogen disclaims any intent or obligation to update these
 forward-looking statements.
 
 

SOURCE Nanogen, Inc.

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