Merck KGaA Issued Seven New Crisper Patents
Patent offices in Europe, Israel, South Korea and the UK have issued seven additional grants for the CRISPR genome-editing technology of Merck KGaA. This brings to 20 the number of German group’s allowed worldwide CRISPR patents to date.
Along with Europe, Israel, the UK and South Korea, Merck also has CRISPR-related patents in the US, Canada, Australia, China and Singapore.
The Darmstadt-based chemicals, pharmaceuticals and life science group was awarded its first foundational patent in Australia covering CRISPR integration in 2017 and its first US. CRISPR patent for proxy-CRISPR in 2019.
In July this year, Merck announced a CRISPR licensing framework with Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to offer non-exclusive licenses to CRISPR IP under their respective control for use in commercial research and product development. This new framework aims to simplify and accelerate scientific access to CRISPR IP, the group said.
Also in July, Merck filed a petition with the US Patent and Trademark Office requesting an interference proceeding between CRISPR-Cas9 patents it applied for in 2012 and patents that the University of California at Berkeley has applied for or been awarded.
“It is encouraging to see this important body of scientific work recognized with the grants of these latest CRISPR patents,” said Udit Batra, member of the Merck executive board and CEO, Life Science. “Our ambition is to continue growing our CRISPR intellectual property portfolio with technologies such as paired Cas9 nickases, for reducing off-target effects, and proxy-CRISPR, which offers researchers more experimental options to accelerate drug development and access to new therapies.”