University of California granted two new U.S. CRISPR-Cas9 patents

USPTO continues to award U.S. CRISPR-Cas9 patents to UC with four issued this month; eight this year; 10 overall; 15 by end of summer

BERKELEY, Calif., July 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded two new patents to the University of California (UC), University of Vienna, and Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier covering methods of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology.

U.S. Patent 10,358,658 covers CRISPR methods for targeting and binding, modifying or cleaving a target DNA using single-molecule guide RNAs. U.S. Patent 10,358,659 covers CRISPR methods for targeting and binding, modifying or cleaving a target DNA with a Cas9 protein that contains a mutation in a RuvC and/or HNH domain and a single-molecule guide RNA.

These two patents join numerous related CRISPR-Cas9 patents that have issued to UC in prior weeks. Over the next several weeks, five additional applications are expected to issue as patents, which will grow UC's portfolio to 15 total patents. The portfolio covers various compositions and methods that allow for targeting and editing genes in any setting, including within plant, animal, and human cells, as well as modulating transcription.

"The USPTO's continued recognition of the significance and uniqueness of the Doudna-Charpentier team's work is a telling signal," said Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D., lead patent strategist on CRISPR-Cas9 matters for UC and a Director at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox. "We anticipate further momentum and expansion of the portfolio as each aspect of this pioneering technology is formally recognized and receives the patent protection it deserves."

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 methods covered by today's patents, as well as the other 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; and 10,351,878. These patents remain unchallenged and are not a part of the PTAB's recent interference declaration between 10 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 ten 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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