Takeda spinoff GenAhead Bio inks partnership with ERS Genomics on CRISPR/Cas9 patents

Gene Editing
Takeda spinoff GenAhead Bio has inked a license deal to access ERS Genomics’ CRISPR/Cas9 patents for genome editing technology. (Irvine/NIST)

Takeda biotech spinoff GenAhead Bio has inked a nonexclusive license deal to access ERS Genomics’ CRISPR/Cas9 patents for genome editing technology. 

Ireland-based ERS holds the rights to the foundational CRISPR/Cas9 patent portfolio from Emmanuelle Charpentier, Ph.D., co-inventor of the technology, the company said. Charpentier and molecular biologist Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D., co-authored a 2012 scientific paper on the gene editing technique and a subsequent patent application.

Terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed.

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GenAhead, which is based in Fujisawa City, Japan, was formed earlier this year as a spinoff from Takeda and is focused on developing a dominant genome editing service.

“Following the issuance in May of our first Japanese patent with very broad and fundamental claims covering CRISPR/Cas9 technology, we have been excited to work with companies like GenAhead to help them build a foundation for commercial and scientific success,” Eric Rhodes, chief executive of ERS, said in a statement. “ERS has a goal of making the CRISPR/Cas9 technology as broadly accessible as possible to all groups for commercial applications.”

A patent battle in the U.S. over the technology erupted in 2017 but ended last month when a federal appeals court handed the Broad Institute a win when it ruled there was “no interference-in-fact” between CRISPR patents held by the Broad and patents sought by the University of California.

That decision affirmed a decision by a U.S. patent board in 2017 that the Broad’s patents did not “interfere” with those applied for by the university, which appealed that decision.