CRISPR: A licence to heal


Rory O'Neill

CRISPR: A licence to heal

CI Photos /

As all sides prepare for a milestone case in the battle over rights to CRISPR/Cas9, LSIPR’s Rory O’Neill finds the CEO of ERS Genomics in a positive mood.

Few areas of emerging research have generated as much excitement in the life sciences community as CRISPR/Cas9, a gene-editing system which relies on the cas9 enzyme to alter DNA. But who invented it and who owns it?

Life sciences experts are convinced by the revolutionary technology’s ability to put gene-editing at the heart of healthcare, making the associated IP an extremely valuable asset. Claims of ownership are far from resolved and have been the subject of protracted legal battles in the US and Europe.

An impending interference proceeding at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will be critical in determining who lands the US rights to a key branch of the technology. There are few more qualified to shed some light on the matter than Eric Rhodes, chief executive officer of ERS Genomics.

CRISPR/Cas9, ERS Genomics, gene-editing, DNA, ownership, USPTO, UC, patent rights, human medicine, R&D, Broad Institute, application, technology