March 02, 2017

February 2017 patents

Innovations in medical devices, cell-permeable cell cycle inhibitors, treatment of protein degradation disorders, control of emulsions, and more

Harvard faculty Conor Walsh, Don Ingber, Randy King, Stuart Schreiber, Kenneth Anderson, David Weitz, Suzanne Walker Kahne, and Arlene Sharpe are among the inventors issued U.S. patents during February 2017.

The innovations recognized are as follows:

Methods and devices for safely penetrating materials
U.S. Patent 9,561,544 (February 7, 2017)

Conor James Walsh, Ajith Thomas, Samuel Benjamin Kesner, Hao Pei, Kechao Xiao, Paul Loschak, and Kevin C. Galloway

Abstract: The present invention is directed to a bi-stable coupling for controlling the depth of a tool insertion, such as drilling, and similar processes. The bi-stable coupling can be used to penetrate (e.g., drill or push) through a material layer of unknown thickness without plunging the tool into the adjacent layer. In accordance with the invention, in a first state, force is applied to the tool to initiate penetration and a reactive force maintains the device in the first state during penetration and when tool penetrates the material, the reactive force is diminished enabling the device to transition to a second state in which the tool becomes retracted. In medical applications, the invention allows for drilling through bone of unknown thickness without plunging into the adjacent soft tissue.

Microfluidic device for real-time clinical monitoring and quantitative assessment of whole blood coagulation
U.S. Patent 9,562,914 (February 7, 2017)

Abhishek Jain, Anna Waterhouse, Mike Super, Donald E. Ingber, and Daniel C. Leslie

Abstract: In accord with one aspect, a microfluidic coagulation assessment device defining a plurality of microchannels is provided, wherein a blood sample is driven through the microchannels at a substantially constant flow rate and a controller is configured to, in combination with a timer and a pressure sensing device, determine a first pressure value (or flow value) at an initiation of flow, a first time (Tpg) at which a second pressure value is about twice the determined first pressure value, and a second time (Tpf) at which a third pressure value is about (1+e) times the determined first pressure value and establish a subject coagulation model predictive of channel occlusion therefrom. In another aspect, the blood sample is driven through the microchannels at a substantially constant pressure and a controller is configured to, in combination with a timer and a flow sensing device make the determination based on flow rate.

Cell permeable inhibitors of anaphase promoting complex
U.S. Patent 9,572,788 (February 21, 2017)

Randall King, Xing Zeng, and Katharine L. Sackton

Abstract: The disclosure provides compositions and methods for treating cell cycle disorders. Compositions of the disclosure include proTAME, a prodrug analog of TAME and apcin, the combination of which inhibits an activity or function of the anaphase promoting complex (APC) by a synergistic mechanism.

Treatment of protein degradation disorders
U.S. Patent 9,572,854 (February 21, 2017)

Kenneth C. Anderson, James E. Bradner, Edward Franklin Greenberg, Teru Hideshima, Nicholas Paul Kwiatkowski, Ralph Mazitschek, Stuart L. Schreiber, Jared Shaw, and Stephen J. Haggarty

Abstract: The invention relates to methods of treating protein degradation disorders, such cellular proliferative disorders (e.g., cancer) and protein deposition disorders (e.g., neurodegenerative disorders). The invention provides methods and pharmaceutical compositions for treating these diseases using aggresome inhibitors or combinations of aggresome inhibitors and proteasome inhibitors. The invention further relates to methods and pharmaceutical compositions for treating multiple myeloma. New HDAC/TDAC inhibitors and aggresome inhibitors are also provided as well as synthetic methodologies for preparing these compounds.

Control of emulsions, including multiple emulsions
U.S. Patent 9,573,099 (February 21, 2017)

David A. Weitz, Assaf Rotem, Adam R. Abate, and Christian Holtze

Abstract: The present invention generally relates to emulsions, and more particularly, to double and other multiple emulsions. Certain aspects of the present invention are generally directed to the creation of double emulsions and other multiple emulsions at a common junction of microfluidic channels. In some cases, the microfluidic channels at the common junction may have substantially the same hydrophobicity. In one set of embodiments, a device may include a common junction of six or more channels, where a first fluid flows through one channel, a second fluid flows through two channels, and a third or carrying fluid flows through two more channels, such that a double emulsion of a first droplet of the first fluid, contained in a second droplet of the second fluid, contained by the carrying fluid, flows away from the common junction through a sixth channel. Other aspects of the invention are generally directed to methods of making and using such systems, kits involving such systems, emulsions created using such systems, or the like.

Diphosphate mimetics and uses thereof
U.S. Patent 9,573,911 (February 21, 2017)

Suzanne Walker Kahne, Jiaoyang Jiang, and Michael Block Lazarus

Abstract: The present invention provides compounds of Formulae (I)-(V), pharmaceutically acceptable salts thereof, and pharmaceutical compositions thereof. In one aspect, compounds of the present invention are useful as glycosyltransferase inhibitors, in particular, O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) transferase (OGT) inhibitors. In another aspect, compounds of the present invention are useful as kinase inhibitors, in particular, PLK1 inhibitors, GSK3P inhibitors, or MAPKAPK2 inhibitors. The present invention further provides methods of using the inventive compounds, e.g., as biological probes to study the inhibition of OGT and/or kinase activity and as therapeutics, e.g., for the treatment of OGT-associated and/or kinase-associated conditions.

Methods and compositions for the generation and maintenance of regulatory T cells
U.S. Patent 9,580,684 (February 28, 2017)

Arlene Sharpe, Loise M. Francisco, and Vijay Kuchroo

Abstract: Methods and compositions for generating and maintaining induced regulatory T cells (iTregs) are provided. Methods and compositions for treating an autoimmune disorder, organ transplant rejection, graft versus host disease or allergic or hypersensitivity and inflammation are also provided.

Chemically operated turing machine
U.S. Patent 9,582,771 (February 28, 2017)

Juan Perez-Mercader, Marta Duenas-Diez, and Daniel Case

Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a Turing machine having a reactor comprising a reactant solution comprising a reactant; a first chemical species source to provide a selected amount of a first chemical species; a second chemical species source to provide a selected amount of a second chemical species; one or more controllers coupled to control the addition of the first and second chemical species from the first and second chemical species sources responsive to an input; and a sensor positioned to sense changes in the reactant as the controller controls the first and second chemical species sources to add selected amounts of the respective first and second chemical species to the reactor. The controller receives signals corresponding to the state of the reactant and correlates the states of the reactant to a result that is computed as a function of the input.

Press Contact

Caroline Perry, (617) 495-4157

Press Contact

Caroline Perry, (617) 495-4157