Merck

CRISPR Licensing

Our CRISPR story:

Seminal work on CRISPR-Cas9 published in 2012 led to an explosion of interest in the gene editing field. As pioneers in CRISPR-Cas9 enabled genome editing, Sigma-Aldrich® scientists, Greg Davis and Fuqiang Chen, showed how CRISPR-Cas9 could be efficiently tailored for the specific placement of a gene or gene fragment within the genome. This approach to genome editing, utilizing the innate DNA repair pathways such as homology-directed repair in particular, can result in more effective gene and CAR-T therapies and greater efficiencies in plant trait expressions to name just a few uses, while preserving the normal functioning of the original genome. This invention provided a method for integrating an exogenous nucleic acid sequence into a chromosomal sequence of a eukaryotic cell either in vivo, ex vivo or in vitro.

Our expansive CRISPR patent estate:

The CRISPR IP landscape is complex with no single entity owning all the rights in all the territories. Our foundational invention and patents cover nucleic acid integration using CRISPR-Cas9 which can be used in gene editing for (a) correction or disabling of genes when developing gene or cell therapies, or (b) adding genes for producing desired traits in plants for example, as well as many other applications.

Sigma-Aldrich Co LLC has received over 55 patents including on its CRISPR-based eukaryotic genomic editing applications deriving from International Application No. PCT/US2013/073307 in the following territories:

  • Europe
  • United States
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Israel
  • China

We also have pending patent applications for its CRISPR mediated insertion method in Brazil, India, and Japan.

View Patent Map

In addition to its foundational patents on CRISPR mediated integration of an exogenous DNA molecule into a eukaryotic chromosome, our patents cover the following methods and compositions:

  • Donor integration improvements
  • HDR (Homology directed repair) enhancers
  • Paired nickases (to increase specificity of gene knock-in and knock-out)
  • Nucleic acid detection
  • Proxy-CRISPR (which uses a second inactive Cas nuclease to open the chromatin near the cleavage site for increased genome editing efficiency and specificity)
  • CRISPR-Chrom (which fuses chromatin modulating peptides to Cas nucleases to open chromatin for increased genome access thereby improving efficiency and activity)
  • Chromatin disruption peptides
  • Novel CRISPR systems (alternate PAMs)
  • High fidelity PURedit™ Cas9 nuclease

Licensing the Sigma-Aldrich® CRISPR patent estate:

We are a leader in developing innovative genome editing tools and technologies such as CRISPR and promoting its translation into genomic medicines to benefit patients and plant engineering to better sustain the world’s population.

However, we also recognise that no single organization can pursue every avenue with respect to gene editing research and development. As a result, we are committed to democratizing this foundational technology by making our CRISPR patent estate available for license to help ensure that the resulting scientific developments have the best chance of success. To that end we will:

  • License our CRISPR IP non-exclusively to companies wishing to sell tools and reagents for genome editing;
  • Make CRISPR IP and methods for genome-editing freely available to the academic and non-profit community;
  • Broadly license our CRISPR integration IP non-exclusively to industrial partners for their commercial research;
  • Grant commercial licenses that are either non-exclusive, field-exclusive or disease or trait indication-exclusive based on availability for research, production, therapeutic and agricultural uses.
  • Explore offering exclusive licenses for human therapeutics as necessary in order to drive the level of investment needed to develop the technology to the point that it is safe, effective, and capable of precise editing in specific cell types;
  • Actively offer CRISPR IP licenses for other uses either exclusively or non-exclusively on a case-by-case basis;
  • We have partnered with the Broad Institute to create a framework to simplify access to both parties’ foundational CRISPR patents for internal research use and for the development and sale of research tools.

CRISPR research products purchased from Sigma-Aldrich® lab and production materials will not require additional licenses from Sigma-Aldrich® unless the product is used outside the scope of the label license and standard terms of sale. Fields of use available for license:

  • Therapeutics and cell therapies
  • Agricultural biotechnology
  • Animal health and husbandry
  • Industrial biotechnology
  • Bioproduction
  • Cultured meat
  • Internal research use
  • Research tools, products and services
  • Diagnostics
  • Academic research

To date, we have licensed out foundational CRISPR patents to various organizations including but not limited to Promega, genOway, Evotec, Horizon Discovery (a Perkin Elmer company), Abcam, Integrated DNA Technologies, Life Technologies (a ThermoFisher company), Cellecta, BetterSeeds, PanCELLa, Takara Bio and many others.

Licensing inquiries:

To enable access to this foundational platform technology, we offer licenses to our CRISPR patent estate to both commercial and non-profit organizations. We look forward to hearing from you and welcome your interest in our IP. Please address all licensing inquiries to: