Horizon expands CRISPR license rights with ERS Genomics

Published: 6-Dec-2017

Horizon Discovery Group, a specialist in gene editing and gene modulation technologies, and ERS Genomics, announced the extension of its pre-existing non-exclusive, worldwide license agreement to significantly expand Horizon’s license coverage for the use of the CRISPR gene editing technology

This will enable Horizon to use CRISPR in multiple new areas across its products and services, providing access to additional revenue streams in new and existing markets.

Dr Darrin Disley, CEO at Horizon Discovery, said: “Horizon was the first company to take a license for CRISPR from ERS Genomics and currently holds what we believe to be the broadest access to this technology.”

“CRISPR is a key component of our gene editing strategy and has enabled us to become the ‘Cell Builders’ of choice for partners and customers whose aim is to design, engineer and apply gene-edited cells. Now, through this expanded license, we are able to provide unencumbered access to the benefits of this cutting-edge technology for an increased range of high value products and services.”

ERS Genomics was formed to provide broad access to the foundational CRISPR intellectual property held by co-inventor and co-owner Dr Emmanuelle Charpentier. With the patent been granted in Europe, China, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Mexico on 1 December, 2017, Horizon has taken the opportunity to expand the Group’s license rights to include:

  • the grant of research rights for the identification of novel genetic traits in species relevant to disease model generation and the industrial production of certain animals, including, mouse, rat, chicken, fish, pig and rabbit, enabling Horizon to generate new streams of revenue through the provision of high-value products and services to this market
  • the grant of new rights to have Horizon products made and sold by partners, these rights support Horizon’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM) strategy and will enable new relationships to be developed across Horizon’s products business
  • the inclusion of one joint venture or spin-out, in which Horizon has a significant minority interest, allowing that entity to use CRISPR for its own internal research without an additional license being required

This license extension builds on an original agreement with ERS Genomics announced in 2014. The original agreement was for the use of CRISPR technology for research purposes, including for the development and sale of tools, kits and reagents for use in research and diagnostics, and the performance of research services on behalf of clients and to support internal programmes.

In January 2017, the license was amended to include the full commercial rights for the use of CRISPR gene edited cell lines for the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) manufacturing of biotherapeutics.

Eric Rhodes, CEO at ERS Genomics, said: “Our strong commercial relationship with Horizon has proven to be highly beneficial for both parties. By enabling Horizon’s continued expansion into novel markets through this expanded license, both organisations are able to gain access to additional revenue streams.”

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