GE Healthcare Life Sciences (NYSE: GE) and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have announced the signing of a non-exclusive license agreement granting GE Healthcare Life Sciences access to intellectual property held by the Broad Institute relating to the CRISPR-Cas9 gene engineering system for research purposes. The CRISPR-Cas9 system allows scientists to modify gene expression in order to gain insights vital to the understanding of disease.
“This agreement provides a strong foundation for new, differentiated gene editing products which harness the power of the CRISPR-Cas9 system, extending our existing RNAi and gene expression portfolio to encompass the broadest range of gene modulation technologies,” said Michael Deines, General Manager of Dharmacon, part of GE Healthcare Life Sciences.
Issi Rozen, Broad Institute Director of Strategic Alliances, commented “Consistent with the Broad’s mission to accelerate the understanding and treatment of disease, we are committed to empowering the global research community by making this technology broadly available to scientists for research around the world. Granting a non-exclusive license to GE Healthcare’s Dharmacon will help drive this availability.”
Eric Roman, General Manager of Research & Applied Markets, GE Healthcare Life Sciences added, “In line with the strategy outlined at the time of acquisition in March 2014, this license is a crucial step in our further development of Dharmacon’s added-value tools and technology offerings for the bioscience research community.”
The intellectual property license from the Broad Institute includes the first granted patent for the use of CRISPR technology in eukaryotic cells and is based on work described in Broad Institute core member Dr. Feng Zhang’s 2013 Science paper. In October 2014, GE Healthcare Life Sciences launched Dharmacon Edit-R Gene Engineering System, its CRISPR-Cas9-based platform for creating permanent and heritable gene knockouts in cells in one-to-two weeks versus the previous one-month timescale. The license granted by Broad will enable further platform development by incorporating the patented technologies and the launch of additional, complementary gene editing tools for the scientific community.
Dharmacon is a trademark of GE Healthcare companies.