As Biopharma-Reporter previously reported, CRISPR-Cas9 is a tool for gene editing that can be faster and more precise that traditional gene editing options. The technology has the potential to eliminate orphan disease, according to Jim Mellon, a British life science entrepreneur and investor.
ERS Genomics currently holds rights to a CRISPR-Cas9 patent portfolio from Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, an inventor of the breakthrough gene-editing technology. The company was formed to commercialise the CRISPR-Cas9 intellectual property held by the doctor.
"We are pleased to include Bayer into our portfolio of licensees," said Shaun Foy, CEO and Founder of ERS Genomics. "Genome editing has broad applications in drug discovery and development and making the CRISPR-Cas9 patents available to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies is an important part of our strategy."
Per the agreement, Bayer will be able to leverage the patents for cross-divisional applications in the company’s core strategic areas.
Dr. Axel Bouchon, Head of the Bayer Life Science Center, said, "This is perfectly suited to fully leverage the tremendous potential of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing within Bayer and serves as ideal addition to our partnership with CRISPR Therapeutics".
According to Bayer, the licensing agreement is an investment by the Bayer LifeScience Center (BLSC), a new R&D unit of the company focusing on developing breakthroughs by creating novel platforms.
BLSC also entered into a joint venture with CRISPR Therapeutics to discover and commercialize breakthrough therapeutics for blood disorders, blindness, and congenital heart disease. Bayer invested $335m in the partnership, which was announced in December 2015.