Aurora Biosciences Announces Issuance of Second Patent on Fluorescence Assay Technology

Apr 10, 2001, 01:00 ET from Aurora Biosciences Corporation

    SAN DIEGO, April 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Aurora Biosciences Corporation
 (Nasdaq: ABSC) today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark
 Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. Patent No. 6,214,563 entitled "Photon Reducing
 Agents For Reducing Undesired Light Emission in Assays."  The patent is the
 second of a family of related patents on the use of Aurora's enhanced system
 solution (ESS) that provides for enhanced assay sensitivity and increased
 signal to noise ratios for high-throughput screening applications.
     "The ESS technology represents a significant advance in the field of
 high-throughput screening using miniaturized assay formats," stated
 Christopher W. Krueger, Aurora's general counsel and vice president, Strategic
 Alliances.  "Aurora is pleased to have obtained extensive patent coverage on
 this enabling technology."
     Aurora's ESS technology takes advantage of the use of specific
 light-blocking or absorbing compounds to reduce light emission from the
 solution surrounding cells, or particles, comprising a luminescent or
 fluorescent probe or marker.  Use of the light-reducing compounds enhances
 assay sensitivity by decreasing background light emission, thereby increasing
 the signal to noise ratio of the assay.
     This second patent on ESS includes 88 claims to methods of use and kits
 for use in a wide range of assays, particularly those utilizing fluorescence
 or luminescence measurements.  The methods are particularly advantageous for
 high-throughput screening applications that utilize miniaturized assay
 formats, where they significantly enhance assay performance.  Specific
 examples of kits covered by this patent include reporter gene and enzyme
 assays based on the use of membrane permeable fluorescent substrates, as well
 as membrane potential assay kits which utilize the voltage-dependent
 distribution of a hydrophobic fluorescent molecule and which include the use
 of a blocking dye or quencher.
     The claims of the patent include assay kits incorporating a
 photon-producing agent, such as a fluorescent reagent, packaged with a
 photon-reducing agent, such as a blocking dye or quencher, in which the
 photon-reducing agent is present at a concentration sufficient to reduce light
 emitted from the fluorescent reagent by at least ten percent.
     Aurora Biosciences(R) develops and commercializes technologies, products
 and services to accelerate the discovery of new medicines.  Our core
 technologies include a broad portfolio of proprietary fluorescence assay
 technologies and screening platforms designed to provide an integrated
 solution for drug discovery.  Our fluorescence assay technologies include our
 GeneBLAzer(TM), GenomeScreen(TM), PhosphoryLIGHT(TM) and Vivid(TM)
 technologies, as well as a broad collection of fluorescent proteins.  Our
 screening platforms include our ultra-high throughput screening system, the
 UHTSS(R) Platform, our automated master compound store, the AMCS, and our ion
 channel technology screening platform, which includes our proprietary voltage
 sensor probes and voltage ion probe reader, the VIPR(TM) subsystem.  We also
 provide assay development and screening services as part of our drug discovery
 collaborations.  Our Big Biology(TM) Initiative is an internal drug discovery
 program focused on the identification of promising preclinical candidates
 within all major classes of gene targets.  Our technologies and drug discovery
 capabilities have been commercially validated by over 20 major life sciences
 companies and research organizations, including American Home Products,
 Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Ceres, Inc., Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Eli Lilly &
 Co., Families of SMA, GlaxoSmithKline, Genentech, Inc., Johnson & Johnson,
 Merck & Co., Inc., NV Organon Laboratories, Pfizer, Inc., Pharmacia and Roche,
 in the form of commercialization agreements for discovery collaborations,
 research services, licenses or systems.  For additional information on
 Aurora's services and products, please contact Sales and Marketing via email
 at marcom@aurorabio.com.
 
     Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical are
 "forward-looking" statements which involve a high degree of technological and
 competitive risks and uncertainties that exist in Aurora's operations and
 business environment.  Such statements, including, without limitation,
 statements regarding the adoption of products covered by, and the potential
 utility of, U.S. Patent Number 6,214,563, as well as statements about the
 scope of the issued patent and Aurora's expectations regarding the issuance of
 additional patents, are only predictions and the actual events or results may
 differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements.
 Factors that could cause or contribute to differences include Aurora's ability
 to develop and commercialize new technologies and products, as well as
 commercial acceptance of such technologies, Aurora's ability to rapidly
 identify promising drug candidates through its Big Biology initiative,
 Aurora's dependence on patents and proprietary rights, Aurora's ability to
 generate additional sales of products and services, Aurora's dependence on
 pharmaceutical and biotechnology collaborations and the development or
 availability of competing technologies, products or services.  These factors
 and others are more fully described in Aurora's Annual Report on Form 10-K for
 the fiscal year ended December 31, 2000, as filed with the Securities and
 Exchange Commission.  For additional corporate information, visit the Aurora
 website at http://www.aurorabio.com.
 
     Aurora Biosciences(R), Big Biology(TM), GeneBLAzer(TM), GenomeScreen(TM),
 PhosphoryLIGHT(TM), UHTSS(R), VIPR(TM) and Vivid(TM) are trademarks of Aurora
 Biosciences Corporation.
 
 

SOURCE Aurora Biosciences Corporation
    SAN DIEGO, April 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Aurora Biosciences Corporation
 (Nasdaq: ABSC) today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark
 Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. Patent No. 6,214,563 entitled "Photon Reducing
 Agents For Reducing Undesired Light Emission in Assays."  The patent is the
 second of a family of related patents on the use of Aurora's enhanced system
 solution (ESS) that provides for enhanced assay sensitivity and increased
 signal to noise ratios for high-throughput screening applications.
     "The ESS technology represents a significant advance in the field of
 high-throughput screening using miniaturized assay formats," stated
 Christopher W. Krueger, Aurora's general counsel and vice president, Strategic
 Alliances.  "Aurora is pleased to have obtained extensive patent coverage on
 this enabling technology."
     Aurora's ESS technology takes advantage of the use of specific
 light-blocking or absorbing compounds to reduce light emission from the
 solution surrounding cells, or particles, comprising a luminescent or
 fluorescent probe or marker.  Use of the light-reducing compounds enhances
 assay sensitivity by decreasing background light emission, thereby increasing
 the signal to noise ratio of the assay.
     This second patent on ESS includes 88 claims to methods of use and kits
 for use in a wide range of assays, particularly those utilizing fluorescence
 or luminescence measurements.  The methods are particularly advantageous for
 high-throughput screening applications that utilize miniaturized assay
 formats, where they significantly enhance assay performance.  Specific
 examples of kits covered by this patent include reporter gene and enzyme
 assays based on the use of membrane permeable fluorescent substrates, as well
 as membrane potential assay kits which utilize the voltage-dependent
 distribution of a hydrophobic fluorescent molecule and which include the use
 of a blocking dye or quencher.
     The claims of the patent include assay kits incorporating a
 photon-producing agent, such as a fluorescent reagent, packaged with a
 photon-reducing agent, such as a blocking dye or quencher, in which the
 photon-reducing agent is present at a concentration sufficient to reduce light
 emitted from the fluorescent reagent by at least ten percent.
     Aurora Biosciences(R) develops and commercializes technologies, products
 and services to accelerate the discovery of new medicines.  Our core
 technologies include a broad portfolio of proprietary fluorescence assay
 technologies and screening platforms designed to provide an integrated
 solution for drug discovery.  Our fluorescence assay technologies include our
 GeneBLAzer(TM), GenomeScreen(TM), PhosphoryLIGHT(TM) and Vivid(TM)
 technologies, as well as a broad collection of fluorescent proteins.  Our
 screening platforms include our ultra-high throughput screening system, the
 UHTSS(R) Platform, our automated master compound store, the AMCS, and our ion
 channel technology screening platform, which includes our proprietary voltage
 sensor probes and voltage ion probe reader, the VIPR(TM) subsystem.  We also
 provide assay development and screening services as part of our drug discovery
 collaborations.  Our Big Biology(TM) Initiative is an internal drug discovery
 program focused on the identification of promising preclinical candidates
 within all major classes of gene targets.  Our technologies and drug discovery
 capabilities have been commercially validated by over 20 major life sciences
 companies and research organizations, including American Home Products,
 Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Ceres, Inc., Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Eli Lilly &
 Co., Families of SMA, GlaxoSmithKline, Genentech, Inc., Johnson & Johnson,
 Merck & Co., Inc., NV Organon Laboratories, Pfizer, Inc., Pharmacia and Roche,
 in the form of commercialization agreements for discovery collaborations,
 research services, licenses or systems.  For additional information on
 Aurora's services and products, please contact Sales and Marketing via email
 at marcom@aurorabio.com.
 
     Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical are
 "forward-looking" statements which involve a high degree of technological and
 competitive risks and uncertainties that exist in Aurora's operations and
 business environment.  Such statements, including, without limitation,
 statements regarding the adoption of products covered by, and the potential
 utility of, U.S. Patent Number 6,214,563, as well as statements about the
 scope of the issued patent and Aurora's expectations regarding the issuance of
 additional patents, are only predictions and the actual events or results may
 differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements.
 Factors that could cause or contribute to differences include Aurora's ability
 to develop and commercialize new technologies and products, as well as
 commercial acceptance of such technologies, Aurora's ability to rapidly
 identify promising drug candidates through its Big Biology initiative,
 Aurora's dependence on patents and proprietary rights, Aurora's ability to
 generate additional sales of products and services, Aurora's dependence on
 pharmaceutical and biotechnology collaborations and the development or
 availability of competing technologies, products or services.  These factors
 and others are more fully described in Aurora's Annual Report on Form 10-K for
 the fiscal year ended December 31, 2000, as filed with the Securities and
 Exchange Commission.  For additional corporate information, visit the Aurora
 website at http://www.aurorabio.com.
 
     Aurora Biosciences(R), Big Biology(TM), GeneBLAzer(TM), GenomeScreen(TM),
 PhosphoryLIGHT(TM), UHTSS(R), VIPR(TM) and Vivid(TM) are trademarks of Aurora
 Biosciences Corporation.
 
 SOURCE  Aurora Biosciences Corporation