Merck KGaA Attains European Patent for CRISPR Technology
The European Patent Office (EPO) has issued to Merck KGaA a “Notice of Intention to Grant” a patent application covering the company’s CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) technology used in a genomic integration method for eukaryotic cells.
The patent will provide Merck KGaA’s CRISPR genomic integration technology with broad protection. A related patent was approved in Australia in June 2017.
With the CRISPR genomic integration technology scientists can replace a disease-associated mutation with a beneficial or functional sequence – a method for creation of disease models and gene therapy, according to Merck KGaA. Scientists can also use the method to insert transgenes to enable basic research, using the technology to label endogenous proteins for visual tracking within cells, for example.
This patent application is one of Merck KGaA’s multiple CRISPR patent filings since 2012. In May 2017, Merck KGaA introduced an alternative CRISPR genome-editing method called proxy-CRISPR.
In collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, a British genomics and genetics research institute, Merck KGaA, manufactured arrayed CRISPR libraries covering the entire human genome.
The company also supports development of gene- and cell-based therapeutics and manufactures viral vectors, in addition to conducting basic genome-editing research. In 2016, Merck KGaA, launched an initiative to advance research in treatment modalities, from genome editing to gene medicine manufacturing.
Source: Merck KGaA