You are here

Information about licensing CRISPR genome editing systems

Broad Institute, MIT and Harvard share the goal of developing innovative technologies such as CRISPR genome editing tools and promoting its translation into genomic medicines to benefit patients.

We are committed to making these technologies broadly available for research to help ensure that therapeutic development — bringing this technology to the clinic — has the best chance of success, while also considering important ethical and safety concerns: any human clinical use must be consistent with all laws and regulations, and clinical human germline editing is specifically excluded.

  • For academic and non-profit use, no license is necessary. For these communities we make CRISPR tools, knowledge, methods and other IP for genome-editing freely available for research. Since February 2013, Addgene has shared more than 52,000 plasmids and reagents with more than 2,300 institutions across 62 countries to help accelerate research into virtually every aspect of human health— including cancer, schizophrenia, diabetes, HIV and other infectious diseases. Non-profit institutions and government agencies do not need to receive a written license from Broad to conduct internal research, including sponsored research to the extent such research does not include the production or manufacture of products for sale or offer for sale or performance of commercial services for a fee. Further, non-profit institutions and government agencies may transfer materials they generate in the conduct of such internal research to other non-profit institutions or government agencies under the terms of the UBMTA without needing to receive a further written license from Broad.
  • For research by companies, we license CRISPR IP non-exclusively.
  • For companies wishing to sell tools and reagents for genome editing, we also license CRISPR IP non-exclusively.
  • For human therapeutics, we concluded that exclusivity is necessary 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.
    • Broad Institute, Harvard, and MIT therefore developed an approach that we call an “inclusive innovation” model. Under this model, Broad, Harvard, and MIT have licensed their CRISPR technology to a primary licensee, Editas Medicine, Inc. (Editas). Editas has a right to exclusively use the technology on targets of its choosing for the development of genomic medicines.
    • However, after an initial period, other companies may apply to license certain CRISPR IP for use against genes of interest not being pursued by Editas. 
    • Specifically:
      (i) a third party interested in an individual gene target would provide a bona fide development plan,
      (ii) Editas then has a pre-defined period to decide whether it intends to pursue the gene of interest and to commit funding and launch a program, and;
      (iii) if Editas is not already working on the gene of interest and chooses not to launch a new program of its own within this period, the IP may be available for licensing by Broad, Harvard, and MIT to the third party.
    • The goal of our inclusive innovation model is to enable Editas to devote sufficient investment to develop CRISPR-based genome editing technology to treat human diseases, while supporting broad development of medicines to reach many patients. 
    • To help enable such development, the Broad, Harvard, and MIT also retain rights to access certain human therapeutic targets for internal development and future licensing.

Parties interested in licensing CRISPR-Cas9 and -Cas12a (Cpf1) under the inclusive innovation model are invited to contact