Historical information available on Taq polymerase findings at the University of Cincinnati

December 07, 1999

Cincinnati -- Background information and expert commentary concerning the Taq polymerase patent ruling is available from the University of Cincinnati department of biological sciences.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled Tuesday that the 1990 patent involving Taq polymerase was issued, in part, on misleading information and false claims by scientists with Cetus Corporation. The ruling supported a challenge by Promega Corporation against Hoffman-La Roche which purchased the Taq patents for $300 million in 1991.

Judge Walker cited previous discoveries by other laboratories, including the laboratory of Professor John Trela in the University of Cincinnati department of biological sciences, as the basis for the ruling.
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AVAILABLE RESOURCES:
September 1976 paper in the Journal of Bacteriology co- authored by Trela and graduate students Alice Chien and David Edgar. "Deoxyribonucleic Acid Polymerase from the Extreme Thermophile Thermus aquaticus."

In-house feature on Taq polymerase and its use in the polymerase chain reaction, including comments from Dr. Trela about Taq polymerase being named Science magazine's first "Molecule of the Year" in 1989. NOTE: Dr. Trela died in 1992.

Expert commentary from Professor Ralph Meyer, current faculty member in the department of biological sciences and a long-time colleague of Trela's. Meyer served as a scientific adviser for Promega and recreated some of Trela's early experiments to demonstrate how Taq polymerase was isolated and purified. Phone: 513-556-9716 Email: ralph.meyer@uc.edu

Request faxed copies of background material by calling Greg Hand at 513-556-1822 or Marianne Kunnen-Jones at 513-556-1826 on Wednesday, December 8th or Chris Curran at 513-556-1806 on December 9th or later.

University of Cincinnati

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