Horizon Discovery has made a deal with the Broad Institute to access intellectual property (IP) related to the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system. Per the terms of the nonexclusive license agreement they've made, Horizon now has rights to use the CRISPR technology commercially to develop research tools and reagents and provide services that use CRISPR such as Horizon’s Genassist™, a product and service solution for CRISPR and rAAV gene editing that the company says includes guide RNA design and validation, donor design, and a range of off-the-shelf plasmids.
Broad's patent is reportedly the first granted patent for use of CRISPR technology in eukaryotic cells. It is based on work by Broad Institute core member Feng Zhang, Ph.D., that was published in a 2013 issue of Science. Dr. Zhang more recently published results that suggest CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing could be used in high-throughput genome-wide screens—technology that Horizon intends to offer as a service.
Horizon, which made a similar agreement with ERS Genomics last month, says picking up this additional CRISPR IP is in line with the aims it outlined at the time of its IPO and will strengthen its position in the market for CRISPR.
"Cas9 is revolutionizing many areas of biological research," Dr. Zhang commented. "This technology has a lot of potential and we are excited to work with partners like Horizon to help put these powerful genome editing tools into the hands of researchers."