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ERS Genomics Licenses CRISPR Tech to DefiniGen for Human Cell Disease Models

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Cambridge, UK-based human cell products provider DefiniGen said today it has licensed CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology from ERS Genomics to develop human cell disease models.

ERS's CRISPR-Cas9 technology will be combined with DefiniGen's induced pluripotent stem cell differentiation platform to generate preclinical cell models for type 2 diabetes, multiple rare liver diseases, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease drug discovery. According to the firm's website, its OptiDiff differentiation system utilizes GMP-compatible conditions to generate human cell products that have similar function and performance to primary human cells on an industrial scale.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"The company's gene editing technical portfolio has been further strengthened by licensing of this cutting-edge technology and will allow us to produce a range of innovative and unique preclinical human models for the drug discovery sector," DefiniGen CEO Marcus Yeo said in a statement.

ERS Genomics, based in Ireland, was founded to provide access to foundational CRISPR-Cas9 IP held by Emmanuelle Charpentier. This CRISPR IP is also held by Jennifer Doudna and the University of California, and is separate from genome editing patents held by the Broad Institute.

DefiniGen this week also signed a CRISPR IP licensing deal with the Broad for its genome editing technology in order to develop human cell disease models of type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, and orphan liver disease for drug discovery. ERS has signed several licensing deals for its own CRISPR IP, including most recently with Thermo Fisher Scientific for products, tools, and research services.