Editas prevails in CRISPR/Cas9 patent dispute with UC; shares rally 28%

Feb. 15, 2017 2:07 PM ETEditas Medicine, Inc. (EDIT)EDIT, NTLA, CRSPBy: Douglas W. House, SA News Editor36 Comments
  • Editas Medicine (EDIT +27.6%) jumps on a 4x surge in volume in response to the Broad Institute and MIT's patent win against the University of California related to gene editing technology CRISPR/Cas9. Editas is the commercial venture formed to monetize the patents.
  • The ruling by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board is a negative for Editas competitors Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA -11.1%) and Crisper Therapeutics (CRSP -27.2%), ventures formed to monetize the patents claimed by UC-Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna and French researcher Emmanuelle Charpentier.
  • Doudna and Charpentier are widely considered the discoverers of CRISPR/Cas9 who dutifully filed patent applications in the U.S. The Broad Institute filed later based on the work of Feng Zhang but claimed ownership of the patents based on Zhang's research records that appeared to show that he was the "first to discover."
  • CRISPR-Cas9 is the "next big thing" in biotech because of its unprecedented precision in editing DNA. CRISPR, the acronym for "clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats," uses RNA to guide the molecular scissors, the Cas9 enzyme, to a specific DNA sequence where it makes a specific cut in the DNA and triggers the cell's DNA repair machinery to address the genetic defect.

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