|Patent Office in 1924|
On Tuesday, December 31, the university announced the grant, adding that the new patent is the 18th involving CRISPR-Cas9 technology received in 2019 by the UC and its collaborators—the University of Vienna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, the director of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, Germany.
Eldora Ellison, lead patent strategist on CRISPR-Cas9 matters for the university and a director at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, said: “2019 was an incredibly important and fruitful year in our continuous efforts to sustain UC as the leader of CRISPR-Cas9 IP in the US.”
The new patent (US number 10,519,467) introduces a method of producing a genetically modified cell using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing.
According to the university, its 20 patents represent the largest CRISPR-Cas9 patent portfolio in the US and it has received notices of allowance for five additional patents that will be issued in early 2020.
The university has an exclusive licence with Caribou Biosciences, founded by scientists from the UC, including CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna.
Caribou has sublicensed the CRISPR patent family to numerous companies worldwide, including UK-based Oxford Nanopore, which has obtained a licence for nanopore sequencing, a third-generation approach used in the sequencing of biopolymers.
The technology is being applied to “edit the genomes of cattle, sheep and pigs to help them fend off disease, to develop screens for drugs for human disease, to generate modified human and mouse cell lines that will help researchers understand and treat these disorders in humans, and to produce research reagents”, according to the announcement.
The inventorship status of CRISPR-Cas9 has been the subject of a long-running dispute between the university and its collaborators, and the Broad Institute, a collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.
In June last year, the USPTO revived the dispute between the two parties by declaring a second interference proceeding between 13 patents and one application of the Broad Institute and ten patent applications filed by UC Berkeley, all covering the use of CRISPR/Cas9 in eukaryotic cells.