10 February 2020:
ERS Genomics Limited, which was formed to provide broad access to the foundational CRISPR/Cas9 intellectual property held by Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, announced today that the European Patent Office (EPO) has rejected arguments filed in opposition to European patent No. EP2800811 jointly held by Dr. Charpentier, the Regents of the University of California, and the University of Vienna, and affirmed the patentability of the inventions described. The claims of the patent are directed to the widely-used single-guide CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system and cover uses in both cellular and non-cellular settings, including use in bacteria, plants, animals, and cells from vertebrate animals such as humans.
Following three days of hearings, the EPO allowed the patent to stand with only very minor modifications to two of the 23 original claims and removal of two dependent claims having virtually no impact on the broad coverage of the patent.
Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, co-inventor of the patent and founder of ERS Genomics, commented: “It is gratifying to have the European patent office confirm the novelty and inventiveness of this discovery. I am pleased to see to what extent CRISPR/Cas9 has become such an important tool in many important areas of research, not to speak of its potential as a curative therapeutic for serious and life-threatening diseases.“
Eric Rhodes, Chief Executive Officer, ERS Genomics, said: “The outcome of the opposition hearing reinforces the broad and fundamental nature of this patent. This result, combined with the recent EPO Technical Board of Appeal decision upholding the full revocation of the Broad Institute’s patent EP2771468, viewed as its foundational CRISPR-Cas9 patent in Europe, further solidifies our position as holding the predominant CRISPR/Cas9 patent portfolio.
“This decision also validates the choice our licensees have made to work with ERS to enable their commercialization efforts. We are expanding our efforts to make the technology broadly available, so it can be used by as many people as possible.”
ERS Genomics Limited was formed to provide broad access to the foundational CRISPR/Cas9 intellectual property held by its founder Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier. The Company has so far enabled companies throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas to commercialize applications in a wide range of areas including human and animal healthcare, diagnostics, industrial manufacturing and synthetic biology.