Crispr Therapeutics to get European patent

Crispr Therapeutics said the European Patent Office (EPO) announced its intention to grant a patent broadly covering Crispr’s in-licensed gene editing technology.

“The claims are directed to the Crispr/Cas9 single-guide gene editing system for uses in both non-cellular and cellular settings, including in cells from vertebrate animals such as human or mammalian cells …” said Crispr.

Crispr Therapeutics CEO Rodger Novak said: “We’re very pleased with the decision by the European Patent Office recognizing the broad applicability of our foundational IP, and we look forward to pursuing additional cases to grant in other jurisdictions globally.”

Crispr Therapeutics said the European patent application was the subject of numerous third-party observations or ‘TPOs’ filed by the Broad Institute and others attempting to prevent or delay its grant.

“Following review of those submissions, the EPO determined that the technical evidence and associated legal arguments did not alter patentability of the inventions by the applicants, and accordingly announced its intention to advance the case to grant in Europe,” said Crispr.

The full EPO case files, TPOs, and claims intended for grant are available at https://register.epo.org/application?number=EP13793997.

Crispr Therapeutics is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, with offices in London and R&D operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Crispr Therapeutics added: “The underlying international patent application is based on the same U.S. priority application that has been involved in an interference proceeding with the Broad et al., which priority application (USSN 61/652086) was filed on May 25, 2012, on behalf of Crispr’s co-founder Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier (currently a director at the Max-Planck Institutein Berlin) along with the Regents of the University of California and University of Vienna.

“The United Kingdom’s Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has also examined the related applications, and likewise considered technical evidence and arguments submitted by third parties, before ultimately reaching similar conclusions to those of the EPO.

“The UKIPO granted a first UK Patent to the Crispr/Cas9 single-guide gene editing system for uses in both non-cellular and cellular settings (No. 2518764), and a second UK Patent to ‘chimeric’ Crispr/Cas9 systems in which the Cas9 protein is modified to provide alternative DNA-modulating activities (No. 2537000).”

Tyler Dylan-Hyde, chief legal officer of Crispr Therapeutics, said: “We and the licensors of these foundational cases for Crispr/Cas9 gene editing have long appreciated that Emmanuelle Charpentier along with Jennifer Doudna and their doctoral and post-doctoral colleagues provided innovations that facilitated the Crispr field.

“We also appreciate that despite attempts by third parties to delay or prevent these grants through TPOs or potential oppositions, patent offices are beginning to recognize both the fundamental significance of the teachings by the Charpentier-Doudna team and their wide applicability to Crispr/Cas gene editing.

“We look forward to pursuing similar findings in the U.S. under the first-to-invent system – and throughout the approximately 80 other countries our filings cover worldwide, including Europe, all of which are on a first-to-file priority system.”