Information about licensing CRISPR-Cas9 systems

Q: What does U.S. Patent No. 8,697,359 cover?

The claims of this patent are directed to CRISPR-Cas9 systems engineered to work in eukaryotic cells, especially human cells, and methods of using these systems. CRISPR-Cas9 systems allow scientists to modify genes in order to better understand the biology of living cells and organisms. For example, researchers can direct the Cas9 nuclease of the claimed system to a specific DNA site to change protein expression and to be able to study the effects of this change.

Q: What does this patent mean for the academic research community? Will the Zhang lab continue to make CRISPR reagents available via Addgene?

The Broad Institute is pleased to have already shared CRISPR reagents and tips with thousands of laboratories, and will continue to make all of its CRISPR tools available to the academic research community directly and via the plasmid-sharing-website Addgene. These tools are openly shared as soon as possible with researchers the world over. For more information, please visit the Zhang lab’s Addgene page or the lab’s CRISPR Genome Engineering Resources page.

Q: Will the Broad be licensing this technology to commercial companies?

Yes, the Broad Institute is offering non-exclusive licenses to companies interested in using this technology for research and commercial purposes. The Broad will also enable tool and reagent companies to sell CRISPR-related services to the research community. If you represent a company interested in such a license, please contact .

Q: What are the therapeutic implications of CRISPR?

A: This technology is still very new and it appears to hold great promise for many applications. These tools may make it possible to target mutations at precise locations in the genome and lay the groundwork for treating diseases where a gene's expression needs to be tuned down (such as HIV), or where a mutation needs to be repaired (such as sickle cell diseases or hemophilia).

Q: Will the Broad be licensing intellectual property around therapeutics?

Harnessing CRISPR for use as a medical treatment will require major investments to develop the technology in order to pursue therapeutics. To encourage the necessary investment in research and development that will be needed, we are exploring granting limited exclusivity in the therapeutics field.