CRISPR patent issued to co-inventor Doudna’s biotech startup Caribou Biosciences

Jennifer Doudna

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A biotech startup has been issued a patent that involves CRISPR, the breakthrough gene-editing method that has sparked a nearly unprecedented intellectual property feud between some of the country’s biggest institutions. But it’s unclear what effect, if any, the patent will have on that fight.

The patent went to Caribou Biosciences in Berkeley, which was co-founded by Jennifer Doudna. The University of California, Berkeley, scientist has said that she, along with French microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier, invented CRISPR — a claim disputed by rival researcher Feng Zhang of the Broad Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Zhang’s CRISPR patents were issued first and are licensed to the newly public therapeutics company Editas Medicine, among others.

The CRISPR patents of Zhang’s in dispute involve Cas9, the name of a protein that, in short, makes CRISPR work. But Caribou’s new patent — which patent experts on all sides are still puzzling over — seems to describe ways of making the technology work with proteins other than Cas9.

In plain English, Caribou at first glance seems to be staking out a much wider range of CRISPR uses, Jacob Sherkow, an associate law professor who specializes in biotechnology and intellectual property at New York Law School, told BuzzFeed News.

Read full, original post: A Gene-Editing Startup Just Won A CRISPR Patent

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