Four companies focusing on CRISPR gene editing have agreed to form an intellectual property (IP) alliance. CRISPR Therapeutics, Intellia Therapeutics, Caribou Biosciences, and ERS Genomics have all agreed to honor their respective licensing deals with the co-owners of the IP, including the Regents of the University of California, Emmanuelle Charpentier, and the University of Vienna.
“We are pleased that we have come to this global agreement with Intellia, Caribou, ERS and the co-owners and other licensees of this foundational CRISPR/Cas9 technology IP,” said Dr. Rodger Novak, CEO of CRISPR Therapeutics. “We believe that the Charpentier-University of California-Vienna IP estate constitutes the foundational IP in the CRISPR/Cas9 editing space. Intellia, CRISPR Therapeutics, Caribou, and ERS view this agreement as enhancing the efforts to protect our shared intellectual property rights and support the ongoing development of our product candidates, as well as those of our corresponding partners and licensees.”
These four companies make up one side of the CRISPR patent interference case, which will decide who owns the licensing rights to the exciting new gene editing technique. The agreement ensures that all four companies respect each other’s global rights to the technology.
Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier are credited with the co-discovery that the CRISPR-Cas9 system could be applied to gene editing in mammalian cells. Since then, the two have independently founded CRISPR-focused biotechs, with Doudna founding Caribou and Intellia, and Charpentier founding CRISPR and ERS.
“Through this agreement, we are ensuring alignment in our efforts to protect and prosecute the foundational CRISPR/Cas9 discoveries made by Dr. Doudna, Dr. Charpentier, and their teams, which have transformed the genomics field and unleashed new therapeutic possibilities,” said Nessan Bermingham, CEO and founder, Intellia Therapeutics. “This strengthens Intellia’s IP position as we continue forging ahead with the discovery and development of therapies for patients worldwide.”