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ERS Genomics Licenses CRISPR-Cas9 Patents to Axxam

NEW YORK – ERS Genomics said on Thursday that it has signed a licensing agreement granting discovery biology company Axxam access to ERS' CRISPR-Cas9 patent portfolio, to support Axxam's integrated discovery service platform.

Dublin-based ERS Genomics was founded to provide access to CRISPR-Cas9 intellectual property held by Emmanuelle Charpentier. This CRISPR IP is shared between her, Jennifer Doudna and the University of California, and the University of Vienna, and is separate from genome editing patents held by the Broad Institute.

Axxam said it will use the CRISPR-Cas9 technology to support its development of highly customized cell-based assays for target classes and molecular pathways of interest. The genome editing platform will be used to activate or inactivate genes of interest, to precisely insert tags to measure protein degradation or translocation, and to insert genetically encoded sensors in specified genomic locations. It will be applied across Axxam's integrated discovery services, in pharmaceuticals, crop protection, animal health, and food and beverages.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Axxam's discovery services cover a wide array of fields and we look forward to seeing how its use of CRISPR-Cas9 impacts these areas," ERS CEO Eric Rhodes said in a statement.

ERS has signed several licensing deals for its technology, including one with Daiichi Sankyo in January and with Aelian Biotechnology in February.