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ERS Genomics Licenses CRISPR-Cas9 Genome Editing IP to Axcelead Drug Discovery Partners

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Japan-based drug discovery services provider Axcelead Drug Discovery Partners said today that it has signed a non-exclusive license agreement with ERS Genomics that provides Axcelead with worldwide access to ERS' CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing intellectual property.

Axcelead said it plans to use the ERS IP to enhance its drug discovery service offerings, including for the creation of genetically modified animal models or cell lines. The company launched in July 2017 after being formed to take over part of Takeda Pharmaceutical's drug discovery research business.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. ERS holds the rights to the foundational CRISPR-Cas9 patent portfolio from Emmanuelle Charpentier.

"We look forward to being able to offer our customers an expanded service offering that includes use of this important gene editing technology," Axcelead CEO Yoshinori Ikeura said in a statement. "[CRISPR-Cas9-engineered animal models and cell lines] are indispensable tools for reliable drug discovery studies including validation of target and proof-of-concept study."

ERS CEO Eric Rhodes noted that this is the firm's first license in Japan following the issuance of its patent in Japan in May. The company also recently licensed its technology to Thermo Fisher Scientific and to the NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute at the University of Tübingen and its affiliate NMI TT Pharmaservices.