Merck, the leading pharmaceutical and life science firm, has reportedly announced that it has availed permission for the patent application of paired CRISPR nickases from the Australian Patent Office. Sources claim that Merck's CRISPR integration patent portfolio already boasts of patents granted in Europe, Australia, China, Canada, South Korea, Israel, and Singapore.
According to trusted reports Merck’s IP would be required by commercial organizations for CRISPR-based DNA insertion if the firm needs access to the right defect in the somatic cells of the patient undergoing gene therapy. Merck plans to license this patent soon for various fields.
As per the granted patent application, two CRISPR nickases are targeted to one gene target that act by slashing the opposite strands of the chromosome series to generate a bi-stranded break.
Seeking Alpha reports Udit Batra CEO, Life Science, Merck KGaA to have stated that the allowance for this new patent represents a commendable advancement in CRISPR-enabled therapeutics safety. The paired nickase CRISPR technology is particularly important for the research community that requires extremely accurate methods during the development of treatment methodologies for difficult-to-treat diseases, he further affirms.
For the uninitiated, Merck was the first company that incepted custom biomolecules for genome editing across the globe (TargeTron™ RNA-guided group II introns & CompoZr™ zinc finger nucleases), motivating the overall R&D community to adopt this technique.
According to sources, the Australian Patent Office has not only approved the patent application for paired nickases but has also declared the grant for Merck's CRISPR integration 2017 patent after four anonymously filed petitions were withdrawn.
For the record, Merck KGaA is also the first company of its kind to have manufactured arrayed CRISPR libraries that reportedly cover the whole genome, allowing for a faster cure as scientists can precisely analyze the root cause of the disease.
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