プレスリリース
前のページへ戻る
 


News Release
August 3, 2017
Your Contact:
Gangolf Schrimpf +49 6151 72 9591

European Patent Office to Grant Merck’s Patent Application for CRISPR Technology
  • Patent application covers integration of an external DNA sequence into the chromosome of eukaryotic cells using CRISPR
  • Related patent application recently awarded in Australia; similar patents pending in other countries, favourable outcomes anticipated

Darmstadt, Germany, August 3, 2017 Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced the European Patent Office (EPO) has issued a “Notice of Intention to Grant” for Merck’s patent application covering the company’s CRISPR technology used in a genomic integration method for eukaryotic cells.

The patent will provide Merck’s CRISPR genomic integration technology with broad protection, further strengthening the company’s patent portfolio. A related patent was approved in Australia in June 2017. Merck anticipates favourable outcomes in other countries as well, because many patent offices worldwide consider the status of related European cases to be highly relevant to the decision to grant patents.

“This is a significant and exciting decision by the EPO, and we view this announcement as recognition of Merck’s important contributions to the genome-editing field,” said Udit Batra, Member of the Merck Executive Board and CEO, Life Science. “This patent provides protection for our CRISPR technology, which will give scientists the ability to advance treatment options for the toughest medical challenges we face today.”

With Merck’s CRISPR genomic integration technology, scientists can replace a disease-associated mutation with a beneficial or functional sequence – a method important for creation of disease models and gene therapy. Scientists can also use the method to insert transgenes to enable basic research, using the technology to label endogenous proteins for visual tracking within cells, for example.

This patent application is one of Merck’s multiple CRISPR patent filings since 2012. In May 2017, Merck introduced an alternative CRISPR genome-editing method called proxy-CRISPR. Unlike other systems, the proxy-CRISPR technique allows cutting of previously unreachable cell locations, making CRISPR more efficient, flexible and specific—giving researchers more experimental options.

Merck, with its 14-year history in the genome-editing field, was the first company to offer custom biomolecules globally for genome editing (TargeTron™ RNA-guided group II introns and CompoZr™ zinc finger nucleases), driving widespread adoption by researchers. In collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Merck was also the first company to manufacture arrayed CRISPR libraries covering the entire human genome, allowing researchers to explore more questions about disease and develop cures faster. Availability of arrayed CRISPR libraries is an important advancement in genome editing and reinforces the company’s leadership position.

The company also supports development of gene- and cell-based therapeutics and manufactures viral vectors, in addition to conducting basic genome-editing research. In 2016, Merck launched an initiative to advance research in novel treatment modalities, from genome editing to gene medicine manufacturing, through a dedicated team and enhanced resources. This venture further solidifies the company’s commitment to the genome-editing field.

メルクについて
Merck(メルク)はヘルスケア、ライフサイエンス、パフォーマンスマテリアルズの分野における世界有数のサイエンスとテクノロジー企業です。がんや多発性硬化症のためのバイオ医薬品を用いた治療法から、科学研究と生産に関する最先端システム、スマートフォンや液晶テレビ向けの液晶材料にいたるまで、約53,000人の従業員が人々の暮らしをより良くする技術の一層の進歩を目指しています。2017年は66カ国で153億ユーロの売上高を計上しました。

メルクは1668年に創業された世界で最も歴史の長い医薬・化学品会社で、 創業家が今でも、上場企業が率いるメルクグループの株式の過半数を所有しています。メルクの名称およびブランドのグローバルな権利は、メルクが保有しています。唯一の例外は米国とカナダで、両国ではEMDセローノ、ミリポアシグマ、EMDパフォーマンスマテリアルズとして事業を行っています。