Mind & body, Research

Seventh CRISPR patent awarded to Doudna/Charpentier team

By Public Affairs

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today issued a patent to the University of California (UC), the University of Vienna and French biologist Emmanuelle Charpentier covering methods of cleaving, modifying or targeting and binding DNA in a cell using a CRISPR protein-RNA complex.

U.S. Patent No. 10,337,029 also covers methods for introducing the complex comprising a single-guide RNA into the cell.

This patent is the seventh related to CRISPR-Cas9 in UC’s continually growing patent portfolio, which spans various compositions and methods useful for targeting genes, modulating transcription and editing genes in any setting, including within plant, animal and human cells.

In the coming months, UC has six additional CRISPR-Cas9 applications set to issue as patents, which will bring its total portfolio to 13 patents.

“We are pleased by the steady expansion of UC’s patent portfolio with this patent covering CRISPR-Cas9 applications that involve introducing protein-RNA complexes into a cell,” said Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., the lead patent strategist on CRISPR-Cas9 matters for UC and a director at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox. “The university remains committed to utilizing its CRISPR-Cas9 intellectual property for the betterment of society.”

The CRISPR-Cas9 DNA-targeting technology was invented by Jennifer Doudna and Martin Jinek at the UC Berkeley; Emmanuelle Charpentier, then of Umea University; and Krzystof Chylinski at the University of Vienna. The claims of UC’s previously issued patents and those set to issue were included among the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology work disclosed first by the Doudna-Charpentier team in its May 25, 2012, priority patent application.

In addition to the USPTO, international patent offices have also recognized the pioneering innovations of the Doudna-Charpentier team. The European Patent Office, which represents more than 30 countries, as well as patent offices in the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico, have issued patents for the use of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in all types of cells.

UC has a long-standing commitment to develop and apply its patented technologies, including CRISPR-Cas9, for the betterment of humankind. Consistent with its open-licensing policies, UC allows nonprofit institutions, including academic institutions, to use the technology for non-commercial educational and research purposes.

In the case of CRISPR-Cas9, UC has also encouraged widespread commercialization of the technology through its exclusive license with Caribou Biosciences, Inc. of Berkeley, California. Caribou has sublicensed this patent family to numerous companies worldwide, including Intellia Therapeutics, Inc., for certain human therapeutic applications. Additionally, Charpentier has licensed the technology to CRISPR Therapeutics AG and ERS Genomics Limited.