EPO grants second CRISPR patent to ERS Genomics
The European Patent Office (EPO) has granted a second CRISPR/Cas9 patent to a specialist genomics company, one month after revoking the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT’s patent relating to the technology.
ERS Genomics announced the EPO’s approval of the patent, which belongs to ERS co-founder Emmanuelle Charpentier together with the University of California and the University of Vienna, on February 28.
The genomics company was formed to provide wide access to the CRISPR IP held by Charpentier by providing licences in multiple fields of use.
ERS said the patent has “very broad claims” covering the use of CRISPR technology for gene regulation. It covers use of the technology in cellular and non-cellular settings including in bacteria, plants, and animals.
The patent claims are “directed towards compositions and uses of a chimeric version of the Cas9 protein”, which is frequently used to regulate gene expression rather than to directly edit genetic code, according to the genomics company.
The EPO’s granting of Charpentier’s second CRISPR patent came a month after it revoked a CRISPR patent (2,771,468) owned by the Broad Institute. The revocation, in January, was met with mixed views, as reported by LSIPR.
Eric Rhodes, CEO of ERS, said the second patent addresses “important applications of the CRISPR technology”, including new drug discovery efforts.
He continued: “This form of CRISPR is broadly enabling as it allows researchers to selectively repress or activate genes of interest to determine their function. It is the newest tool being used to discern the role of genes in disease, ultimately leading to new therapeutic applications.”
It is exciting to be able to see CRISPR being deployed “so broadly to help identify and understand so many new areas in biology”, added Charpentier.
In December 2017, ERS expanded the licence coverage of UK-based genomics company Horizon Discovery to include research rights for industrial production of certain animals, among other uses. Their agreement had already been expanded in January 2017 to include the full commercial rights for the use of CRISPR, as well as providing Horizon with the right to use CRISPR-edited cell lines in biomanufacturing.
The companies signed their original licensing agreement in 2014, focussing on the use of CRISPR technology for research purposes including the development and sale of tools for use in research and diagnostics.
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Emmanuelle Charpentier, European Patent Office, CRISPR-Cas9 patent, genomics research, gene technology
Published at Thu, 08 Mar 2018 09:04:43 +0000