February 15, 2017: Editas Medicine confirms patent office decision favorable to Broad Institute in CRISPR Interference. Editas Medicine’s stock is up more than +27% on the news.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a favorable decision today in the CRISPR interference between the University of California, the University of Vienna, Emmanuelle Charpentier and the Broad Institute, Inc. (Broad) regarding certain CRISPR-Cas9 patents the Company exclusively licenses from Broad. The USPTO granted Broad’s Motion for No Interference in Fact, ending the interference before the USPTO.
Katrine Bosley, CEO of Editas Medicine, said, “We are pleased with the USPTO’s decision of ‘no interference in fact’ for the patents that have been granted to the Broad Institute for their innovative and fundamental work on CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing. This important decision affirms the inventiveness of the Broad’s work in translating the biology of the natural world into fundamental building blocks to create unprecedented medicines. At Editas Medicine, we are continuing to invest in this technology to build our business for the long-term and to create genome editing therapies for patients suffering from genetically-defined and genetically-treatable diseases.”
December 19, 2016: Editas Medicine, Inc announced that it has exclusively licensed intellectual property related to the new CRISPR technologies for human therapeutics that will enhance and broaden the range of medicines the Company can develop. These global licensing agreements include intellectual property owned by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (Broad Institute), Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Wageningen University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Tokyo for the new CRISPR genome editing system known as Cpf1, advanced forms of Cas9, and additional Cas9-based genome editing technologies. In addition, these licenses employ the inclusive innovation model developed by Broad Institute, Harvard University, and MIT, which is designed to maximize the opportunity for groundbreaking innovations to reach the largest number of patients.
CRISPR genome editing has the potential to enable scientists and physicians to create medicines that may be able to treat serious diseases by making precise changes in DNA in the cells of a patients body. Cpf1 is a CRISPR genome editing system that has been recently characterized and engineered and which may be applied to make medicines for humans, among other applications. Cpf1 complements the Cas9 genome editing system as the Cpf1 protein is structurally distinct, has independent intellectual property, and has several potential benefits, including:
– Increasing the number of sites in the genome that can be edited, because it has distinct protospacer adjacent motifs (PAMs);
– Simpler manufacture and delivery, because the natural system requires only a short, single CRISPR guide RNA and does not include a tracrRNA; and
– Increased efficiency and accuracy for some forms of gene repair, because it makes staggered DNA cuts.
These licenses also further expand Editas Medicines leadership position in Cas9-based genome editing, including advanced forms of Cas9 which can be more specific than the naturally occurring version of Cas9. The licenses announced today also include other aspects of Cas9-based genome editing, specific disease applications, as well as non-exclusive access to a range of supporting research technology.
Under the terms of the combined licenses for Cpf1, advanced forms of Cas9, and additional Cas9-based genome editing technologies from the Broad Institute, Harvard University, MIT, Wageningen University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Tokyo, Editas Medicine will make total upfront cash payments of $6.25 million and issue a promissory note totaling $10 million that can be settled in stock or cash over a predefined period. In the future, Editas Medicine may make additional payments, in cash or stock upon reaching goals and targets related to research and development, commercialization, and market capitalization, and will pay royalties on products based on these technologies.
December 16, 2016: Juno Therapeutics gave biotechnology firm Editas Medicine $25 million upfront and $22 million over five years to license CRISPR to create genetically engineer cells that can recognize and kill cancer cells.
The CRSPR gene editing is hailed by academia and scientific institutions.
China announced a few weeks ago that Chinese scientists had already utilized CRISPR to alter the DNA of human embryos so that they can modify a gene that causes a fatal blood disorder. The change made is then expected to proceed into altering the DNA of every cell so any changes made could then be passed on from generation to generation. The ethical considerations immediately took over and the talk centered then after on the guidelines that must be imposed to put this technology under control.
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Editas Medicine is a leading genome editing company dedicated to treating patients with genetically-defined diseases by correcting their disease-causing genes.