Merck, one of the global leaders in genome editing, recently announced that it has received approval from the Canadian Patent Office for its patent application for the deployment of paired CRISPR nickases. According to sources close to the matter, the patent will provide more specific solution to scientists who require accurate methods of developing treatments for difficult diseases that eventually reach the patient.
Udit Batra, CEO, Life Science and member of Merck Executive Board has been reported to say that the patent allowance is yet another milestone in CRISPR-enabled therapeutics security. It includes technology that enhances CRISPR’s capability to fix diseased genes without affecting healthy ones. He added that Merck has been a leader in innovation related to genome-editing for 15 years and this approval further helps in its expansion of foundational CRISPR integration and cutting intellectual property (IP) to help scientists develop gene therapy research.
CRISPR technology is one of the core competencies of Merck. Sources report that the Canadian patent is Merck’s 13th in the world and its second in Canada. The latest patent comprises paired nickases, which conducts specificity through an efficient and flexible approach to limit off-target effects.
CRISPR integration patent portfolio of Merck consists of granted patents in China, Australia, Israel, South Korea, Europe, Singapore and Canada. These CRISPR patents pertain to chromosomal cutting or integration of the sequence of eukaryotic cells and addition of a DNA sequence, to make a desired genomic change.
Merck was the pioneer in offering custom biomolecules for genome editing across the world, driving adoption of these techniques by researchers on a global level. Merck was also the pioneer in manufacturing arrayed CRISPR libraries that included entire human genome and allows scientists to explore root causes by accelerating disease cures.
Besides basic genome-editing research, Merck also supports the development of cell and gene-based therapeutics and produces viral vectors.