CRISPR patents by numbers

CRISPR patent landscape IPStudies
Number of applications for new patent families filed worldwide. Data from 2018 and 2019 are incomplete. Due to a lag in the publication of US filings, most of the applications included in the tally are in China. [Credit IPStudies/The Scientist]

According to IPStudies, over 12,000 CRISPR patent applications have been filed worldwide, falling into about 4,600 patent familiesThe number of issued patents is still impressive, more than 740 to date. More than half have been awarded in just two countries. Can you guess where?

China and the US, of course. Players dominating the patent landscape are the University of California and the Broad Institute – where CRISPR was respectively invented and adapted for genome editing in eukaryotes – the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the US company DuPont and the Massachusetts-based biotech firm Editas Medicine.

The struggle between UC and Broad over the standard Cas9 system is still on and is pushing the development of alternatives. CRISPR enzymes now come in approximately 50 different types, including Cpf1, C2c2,  and CasY.

The partial score at the US and the EU patent offices is 34 patents granted to the Boston team and 10 to Berkeley. To learn more, read The Scientist.

Modulation better than correction. A new CRISPR paradigm is emerging

ronald-cohn3
Ronald Cohn (SickKids)

Another CRISPR step in the way out of congenital muscular dystrophy type 1A (MDC1A) is announced by Ronald Cohn and colleagues in Nature this week. This is still preclinical research in mice, but the indirect approach presented by the Canadian team holds great promise.

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Italy to edit quality foods

spaghettiThe research institute CREA is experimenting with CRISPR to improve Italian typical products. The project called BIOTECH is funded with 6 million euros from the Italian ministry of agriculture. Wheat, tomatoes, vines, fruits and more are on the menu, as reported by me in a 6-pages feature published in Le Scienze, the national edition of Scientific American. Continue reading