CRISPR gene editing commercialization divides former colleagues

| | May 2, 2014
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The money men have moved in on a new technique for editing the human genome that promises to revolutionise the way many human diseases will be treated in the future. But Big Money has in the process divided a scientific community into two competing camps.

Some might see it has healthy scientific rivalry spilling over into commercial competition which could ultimately speed up medical innovation. But behind closed doors there is a desperate race to establish scientific and commercial priority over what could be the scientific discovery – and intellectual property – of the decade.

On the one side is a consortium of world-class researchers led by French-born Professor Emmanuelle Charpentier who made a key discovery behind the Crispr gene editing technique and has been promised $25m (£16m) by a group of venture capitalists to commercialise her invention for medical use.

On the other side is her former colleague and the co-discoverer of the gene-editing process, Professor Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, who has joined a rival consortium of researchers with $43m in venture capital to advance the Crispr technique into the clinic.

Read the full, original story: Scientific split – the human genome breakthrough dividing former colleagues

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