Excision BioTherapeutics has become the first company to exclusively license new CRISPR systems discovered last year by Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D., a pioneer of the gene-editing technology, and Jillian Banfield, Ph.D., for use in developing treatments against infectious diseases.
Excision has licensed the new CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) systems for use from the University of California, Berkeley, under an agreement announced today, and whose value was not disclosed.
The new gene editors, discovered from uncultivated microbes, enable the development of new versions of CRISR genome-editing technology, using additional nucleases besides the familiar Cas9.
“A lot of them are smaller, first off, and they can be more packageable. They can potentially be able to be delivered using smaller viruses like adeno-associated virus (AAV). So that’s one advantage,” Thomas Malcolm, Ph.D., Excision’s founder, president and CEO, told GEN. “On the business front, they offer just a cleaner business landscape. There’s very clear intellectual property out of UC Berkeley compared to Cas9.”
UC Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier, Ph.D., a director at the Max-Planck Institute in Berlin, are in a legal battle with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard over who invented CRISPR/Cas9. On October 25, the Broad filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit seeking to uphold the February 15 decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The PTAB found “no interference in fact” between 12 CRISPR-related patents that list as inventor Feng Zhang, Ph.D., of the Broad, and a patent application by Drs. Charpentier and Doudna
Excision BioTherapeutics Licenses New CRISPR Systems from UC Berkeley