Intellia Announces European Patent Office’s Decision to Grant CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing Technology Patent

  • Patent covers foundational CRISPR/Cas9 inventions that Intellia sublicensed for use in human therapeutics
  • Patent covers compositions of CRISPR single guide RNA technology for use in non-cellular and cellular settings, including eukaryotic cells

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 11, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Intellia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NTLA), a leading genome editing company focused on the development of potentially curative therapeutics using CRISPR technology, announced that the European Patent Office (EPO) has decided to grant a patent broadly covering the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology. The patent includes claims covering compositions of the widely adopted CRISPR single guide RNA technology for use in any non-cellular and cellular setting, including eukaryotic cells such as human or mammalian cells, as well as for use in human therapeutics.

According to the EPO, the patent will formally grant on May 10, 2017. The EPO’s decision to grant this patent follows its March 24, 2017 notice of intent to issue the patent, which was not challenged by any third party. This European patent will be nationalized in, and cover, approximately forty European countries, including Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the Netherlands. As provided by relevant European legislation, third parties will have nine months from the issue date to oppose the patent in the EPO.

In addition to the EPO decision, earlier this year, the United Kingdom’s Intellectual Property Office granted national UK patents on the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system. The UK patents cover the single guide RNA for uses in both non-cellular and cellular settings, as well as chimeric CRISPR/Cas9 systems in which the Cas9 protein is modified to provide alternative DNA-modulating activities. The underlying international patent application is based on a U.S. application, which was filed on May 25, 2012, by the University of California on its own behalf and on behalf of the University of Vienna and Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier. In the U.S., the corresponding application has been involved in an interference proceeding with the Broad Institute, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which was terminated without a decision on which sets of inventors were the first to discover the application of the CRISPR/Cas9 technology to eukaryotic cells.

“We are extremely pleased with this EPO outcome as it recognizes Jennifer Doudna, Emmanuelle Charpentier and their team as CRISPR/Cas9 pioneers, and also acknowledges the breadth of their original patent application,” said Intellia Therapeutics CEO and Founder, Nessan Bermingham, Ph.D. “Intellia continues to build on the compelling preclinical data we have generated and to focus on the development of our pipeline of novel human therapeutics that will potentially transform the lives of patients with genetic diseases.”

Intellia has rights to this intellectual property estate, including the European and UK patents, for human therapeutic, prophylactic, and palliative uses (including companion diagnostics), excluding anti-fungal and anti-microbial applications. Intellia obtained these rights through a 2014 license agreement with Caribou Biosciences, Inc., which is the exclusive licensee of the University of California and University of Vienna, two of the co-owners of the intellectual property.

About Intellia Therapeutics

Intellia Therapeutics is a leading genome editing company, focused on the development of proprietary, potentially curative therapeutics using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Intellia believes the CRISPR/Cas9 technology has the potential to transform medicine by permanently editing disease-associated genes in the human body with a single treatment course. Intellia’s combination of deep scientific, technical and clinical development experience, along with its leading intellectual property portfolio, puts it in a unique position to unlock broad therapeutic applications of the CRISPR/Cas9 technology and create a new class of therapeutic products. Learn more about Intellia Therapeutics and CRISPR/Cas9 at; Follow us on Twitter @intelliatweets.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” of Intellia within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward looking statements include, but are not limited to, express or implied statements regarding the formal issue date of the European patent and the nationalization of the European patent in approximately forty countries; the intellectual property position and strategy of Intellia’s licensors; and Intellia’s ability to advance CRISPR/Cas9 into therapeutic products for severe and life-threatening diseases and its CRISPR/Cas9 intellectual property portfolio. Any forward-looking statements in this press release are based on management’s current expectations of future events and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks related to Intellia’s ability to protect and maintain its intellectual property position, risks related to the ability of Intellia’s licensors to protect and maintain their intellectual property position, the risk that any one or more of Intellia’s product candidates will not be successfully developed and commercialized, the risk of cessation or delay of any of the ongoing or planned clinical trials and/or development of Intellia’s product candidates, the risk that the results of previously conducted studies involving similar product candidates will not be repeated or observed in ongoing or future studies involving current product candidates, and the risk that Intellia’s collaborations with Novartis or Regeneron will not continue or will not be successful. For a discussion of other risks and uncertainties, and other important factors, any of which could cause Intellia’s actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see the section entitled “Risk Factors” in Intellia’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in Intellia’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Intellia Therapeutics undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.

Intellia Contacts: Media: Jennifer Mound Smoter Senior Vice President, External Affairs & Communications +1 857-706-1071 Investors: Graeme Bell Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer +1 857-706-1081

Primary Logo

Back to news