SAN DIEGO, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Nanogen, Inc. (Nasdaq: NGEN), developer of advanced diagnostic products, announced today that its subsidiary, Epoch Biosciences, was issued Patent No. 6,962,991, "Process for the synthesis of pyrazolopyrimidines" by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The '991 patent relates to a process for the synthesis of pyrazolopyrimidine nucleoside phosphoramidites. This process allows the economical production of these important nucleic acid building components. The incorporation of pyrazolopyrimidine bases into nucleic acid probes and primers in place of the normal guanine (G) base allows the development of diagnostic assay reagents that can target sequences intractable to normal probes and primers. Efficient and accurate detection of nucleic acid targets play an integral role in infectious and genetic disease management. Under normal circumstances, nucleic acid sequences that have large stretches of G residues have a tendency to bind together instead of binding to their complementary DNA strand, making those sequences extremely difficult to design assays to detect. Use of pyrazolopyrimidine-modified oligonucleotides can eliminate self-association in primers and probes with high GC-content. This technology allows Nanogen to develop highly sensitive amplification-based diagnostic assays, solving a serious limitation in the traditional design of assays. Often times these intractable sequences can code for genes altered by mutations or changed by diseases such as cancer, so detection of molecular events can be critical in managing patient treatment. "Nanogen's technologies for molecular diagnostics uniquely position us to develop assays for diseases that cannot be detected by other nucleic-acid based technologies," noted Howard C. Birndorf, chairman and chief executive officer of Nanogen. "This intellectual property distinguishes the real-time PCR analyte specific reagents we're developing for these unmet needs in diagnostics, which we'll use to secure a solid position in the rapidly growing molecular testing market." 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 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. 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.