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Where "reach-through" claims recite compounds that interact with, or modulate the activity of, a specific peptide or nucleic acid, it is important to understand the types of compounds that may fall within the scope of the claims. Often the compounds include known compounds, for example known drugs or peptides, where the drug or peptide is a member of a standard chemical library whose members have been tested for their ability to interact with the peptide or nucleic acid. In this situation, the claims will necessarily lack novelty.

Often the candidate compounds will be claimed as compounds identified, or selected, by screening. Although, as a matter of literal construction, such claims are directed to the compounds after, not prior to, screening, the compounds are the same regardless of whether or not they were identified in a screening process. Thus, examiners should construe such claims as directed to compounds per se (see also Reach Through Claims).

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