The CRISPR-Cas9 Ownership Dispute
CRISPR-Cas9 is a popular genome editing tool that is creating quite a buzz in the science world.
Multiple academic institutions are currently involved in an intellectual property ownership dispute about the CRISPR-Cas9 technology.
The CRISPR-Cas9 Ownership Dispute Presentation Slides (pdf)
Presentation points included:
What is CRISPR-Cas9?
- Clustered Regularly-Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR associated proteins.
- Popular gene editing tool.
- Essential in adaptive immunity.
- Naturally occurring defense mechanism used by bacteria to protect from viral infection.
- Engineered by scientist to cut and paste other DNA sequences making it useful in genomics research.
Significance of CRISPR
- Can create mouse models of human diseases much more quickly than before.
- Study individual genes much faster, and easily change multiple genes in cells at once to study their interactions.
- Could potentially lead to new types of treatments and even cures for diseases.
How can CRISPR-Cas9 be Patented?
- This naturally-occurring bacterial process cannot be patented; even if isolated.
- The parties have created methods, components and compositions that are adaptations of the naturally occurring system and made them useful in methods for editing genomes. These are all patentable.
- This naturally occurring system was repurposed.
CRISPR-Cas9 Patent Landscape
- As of November 2016, 42 patents with claims to CRISPR and/or Cas9
- 13 CRISPR patents to the Broad Institute directed to mammalian genome editing methods
- 10 additional CRISPR patents to Harvard University.
- 3 CRISPR patents to DuPont; 1 to Agilent Technologies; 1 to University of Georgia Research Foundation; 1 to Institut Pasteur, and 1 to Caribou Biosciences.
- European Patent Office (EPO) has granted six of Broad’s patent applications as of February