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University of California gains additional U.S. CRISPR-Cas9 patent related to single-guide RNA

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PR Newswire

BERKELEY, Calif., Sept. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted a new CRISPR-Cas9 patent to the University of California (UC), University of Vienna, and Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier covering single-molecule guide RNAs or nucleic acid molecules encoding the guide RNAs.

Today's patent (U.S. 10,407,697) is the 13th in the university's U.S. CRISPR-Cas9 portfolio and follows the issuance of 10 other patents in the past six months. Continuing the momentum into the fall, UC expects to further expand its portfolio through the issuance of four additional patents in the near future. In total, the patents that have issued and those that are set to issue bring the university's portfolio to 17 U.S. CRISPR-Cas9 patents covering various compositions and methods of targeting and editing genes in any setting, such as within plant, animal, and human cells, as well as modulating transcription.

"We are pleased by our recent trajectory that has significantly increased UC's intellectual property protection of the Doudna-Charpentier team's work on CRISPR-Cas9," said Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., lead patent strategist on CRISPR-Cas9 matters for UC and a Director at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox. "We will continue pursuing claims for this pioneering gene-editing technology so we can ensure the methods are utilized for the benefit of society." 

The Doudna-Charpentier team that invented the CRISPR-Cas9 DNA-targeting technology included Jennifer Doudna and Martin Jinek at the University of California, Berkeley; Emmanuelle Charpentier (then of Umea University); and Krzysztof Chylinski at the University of Vienna. The single-molecule guide RNAs covered by today's patent, as well as the other compositions and methods claimed in 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.

Additional CRISPR-Cas9 patents in this team's portfolio include 10,000,772; 10,113,167; 10,227,611; 10,266,850; 10,301,651; 10,308,961; 10,337,029; 10,351,878; 10,358,658; 10,358,659; 10,385,360; and 10,400,253. These patents are not a part of the PTAB's recently declared interference between 14 UC patent applications and multiple previously issued Broad Institute patents and one application, which jeopardizes essentially all of the Broad's CRISPR patents involving eukaryotic cells.

International patent offices have also recognized the pioneering innovations of the Doudna-Charpentier team, in addition to the 13 patents granted in the U.S. so far. The European Patent Office (representing more than 30 countries), as well as patent offices in the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and other countries, have issued patents for the use of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in all types of cells.

University of California 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, Dr. Charpentier has licensed the technology to CRISPR Therapeutics AG and ERS Genomics Limited.

SOURCE University of California Office of the President