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ERS Genomics Licenses CRISPR-Cas9 IP to Sumitomo Pharma

NEW YORK — ERS Genomics said on Tuesday that it has granted a nonexclusive license to its CRISRP-Cas9 patent portfolio to Japanese drugmaker Sumitomo Pharma.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Dublin-based ERS was founded to provide access to CRISPR-Cas9 intellectual property held by Emmanuelle Charpentier. The IP is shared with Jennifer Doudna and the University of California, as well as with the University of Vienna.

"Japan has one of the most developed biotechnology sectors in the world and we hope this partnership with Sumitomo Pharma is a signifier of a growing presence in this country," ERS CEO Eric Rhodes said in a statement. "This represents ERS's 16th license deal in Japan."

Earlier this month, ERS nonexclusively licensed its CRISPR-Cas9 IP to Japanese nonprofit research organization Central Institute for Experimental Animals.

ERS's IP is separate from similar patents held by the Broad Institute. In March, the US Patent and Trademark Office found that the Broad's patents covering CRISPR-Cas9 in eukaryotic cells have priority over IP held by Charpentier, the University of Vienna, and the University of California.

At the time, ERS said that the USPTO ruling does not impact any of the licenses it has issued to patents not involved in the interference proceedings, including patents covering a variety of CRISPR compositions such as ones with dual-guide and single-guide strand formats.

Sumitomo subsidiary Summit Pharmaceuticals is ERS's exclusive agent for Japan.