Bayer, ERS Genomics License Agreement on CRISPR/Cas9 Technology
Ireland headquartered ERS genomics, which was co-founded by the developer of CRISPR/Cas9 technology, Prof. Emmanuelle Charpentier and which holds exclusive worldwide license to foundational intellectual property of CRISPR/Cas9 technology entered into a patent license agreement with Bayer Lifescience Center (BLSC) for certain cross-divisional applications of this promising technology in Bayer’s core strategic areas.
Financial details regarding the agreement remained undisclosed. This agreement of the Bayer can be seen as a perfectly strategized investment plan for its future benefit. Last year in December, Bayer signed a $335 million agreement with CRISPR Therapeutics to create a joint venture for the development and commercialization of new breakthrough therapeutics for blood disorder, blindness and congenital heart disease.
CRISPR Therapeutics has the proprietary CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology and its intellectual property, founded by Prof. Emmanuelle Charpentier.
Now, this agreement offers Bayer a broad access to research applications utilizing CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology.
For ERS Genomics this license agreement for CRISPR/Cas9 technology is not the first one. In November 2015, it provided Regeneron Pharmaceuticals access to the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing patent by a license agreement for drug discovery and development.
UK based Horizon Discovery, entered into a non- exclusive license agreement in 2014 with ERS Genomics to access intellectual property related to CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tool and to strengthen its position in the market for this futuristic gene editing technology.
The licensing agreement encompasses a wide domain which includes the use of the new gene editing tool for internal research, sales of products and services in wide range of field, discovery of novel targets for therapeutic intervention, discovery and screening of novel drug candidates synthetic biology.
Figure 1. CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology. (Left panel) CRISPR-Cas9 nuclease complex cleaves target genes to stimulate (i) gene disruption resulting from imperfect DNA repair by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) or (ii) precise gene insertion or modification by homology directed repair (HDR) of DNA. (Right panel) Fusions of cleavage-deficient CRISPR-Cas9 with other factors (transcription regulators, fluorescent proteins, other functional moieties) allow site-specific tethering of these functions to chromosomal DNA. (Photo credit: ERS Genomics official website)
CRISPR/Cas9 technology came up as revolutionary gene-editing tool which will allow the scientists to precisely disable or replace faulty genes in the DNA of human cells and the cells of other animal. This technology holds the potential to revive the field of medicine and biotechnology. Therefore, within just three years of its discovery, it has become the most controversial topic and in spite of all the controversies, companies are investing on this technology.
“We are pleased to include Bayer into our portfolio of licensees,” said Shaun Foy, CEO and Founder of ERS Genomics. “Genome editing has broad applications in drug discovery and development and making the CRISPR-Cas9 patents available to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies is an important part of our strategy.”
Featured image credit: Colourful DNA strands on abstract background with 3D medical virus cells © kjpargeter (Stock Photo ID: 92962817)