University of California granted new U.S. CRISPR-Cas9 patent related to single-guide RNA

University's 12th U.S. patent adds new compositions for CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology to overall patent portfolio; expects to add five more patents in near future

BERKELEY, Calif., Sept. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today awarded a new CRISPR-Cas9 patent to the University of California (UC), University of Vienna, and Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier covering compositions of single molecule DNA-targeting RNA (sgRNA) and a Cas9 protein or nucleic acid encoding the Cas9 protein.

This patent (U.S. 10,400,253) further expands the intellectual property that is protected by UC's CRISPR-Cas9 portfolio. In addition to the 12 U.S. patents already issued, the USPTO has allowed claims of five other applications which are expected to issue as patents in the coming months. One of these applications will issue as a patent as soon as next week, on September 10, and covers sgRNA's or DNA molecules encoding sgRNA's. Altogether, the university will hold 17 total patents in its U.S. CRISPR-Cas9 portfolio covering compositions and methods of targeting and editing genes in any setting, such as within plant, animal, and human cells, as well as patents related to the modulation of transcription.

"The continued recognition from the USPTO of the Doudna-Charpentier team for the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology speaks to the revolutionary nature of the team's work," said Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., lead patent strategist on CRISPR-Cas9 matters for UC and a Director at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox. "The university remains committed to its fundamental mission of applying the CRISPR-Cas9 invention for the public good."

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 compositions 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; and 10,385,360. 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 12 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.

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SOURCE University of California Office of the President

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