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ERS Genomics Licenses CRISPR Patents to Setsuro Tech

NEW YORK – ERS Genomics said on Wednesday that it has granted Japanese biotechnology startup Setsuro Tech a non-exclusive license to its CRISPR-Cas9 patent portfolio in Japan, which Setsuro said it will use to develop and supply cell and animal models.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Dublin-based ERS Genomics was founded to provide access to CRISPR-Cas9 intellectual property held by Emmanuelle Charpentier. The 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.

Setsuro has developed a high-throughput genome editing method for mammalian embryos, which it calls genome editing by electroporation of Cas9 protein (GEEP). Using this method, the company is able to rapidly produce genetically engineered mice at low cost. Setsuro said it plans to use the ERS CRISPR technology to create genome-edited cell and animal models based on its customers' requirements.

"Our technology enables us to provide researchers with genome-edited models quickly and at relatively low cost," Setsuro CEO Shinichiro Takezawa said in a statement. "The license from ERS expands our portfolio and having access to advanced technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9 will allow us to continue our high-quality offerings that combine CRISPR-Cas9 with our patent-pending technologies."

ERS has signed many similar licensing deals for its CRISPR-Cas9 patent portfolio. Its most recent agreement was with Japanese drugmaker Otsuka Pharmaceutical at the beginning of March, for Otsuka's internal research and development programs to address areas of unmet medical need.