DuPont Pioneer (DuPont) and ERS Genomics (ERS) announced a technology license agreement whereby DuPont gains exclusive rights to the ERS patent portfolio covering CRISPR-Cas genome editing technology for all agricultural uses and applications in plants. ERS was formed to commercialize the foundational intellectual property (IP) of the CRISPR-Cas technology from co-inventor and co-owner Emmanuelle Charpentier, Ph.D.
“We see CRISPR-Cas technology as an advancement in plant breeding which can enable a new era in crop improvement. This licensing agreement with ERS is a piece of DuPont Pioneer’s strategy to position our business as a leader in the application of CRISPR-Cas in agriculture,” says Neal Gutterson, vice president, Research & Development at DuPont Pioneer. “Our intention is to collaborate with public and private entities globally, to apply CRISPR-Cas to a wide set of crops and maximize the value of this important technology for the greater good.”
“This technology has had a tremendous impact on biological research and holds promise across a range of important applications,” said Eric Rhodes, CEO of ERS Genomics. “We are proud to have DuPont Pioneer, a leading innovator in agriculture, as one of our key strategic licensees as we continue to make the technology broadly available for all other available applications through licensing.”
The licensing agreement with ERS complements DuPont’s previously announced CRISPR-Cas licensing and collaboration agreements with Caribou Biosciences and Vilnius University. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The DuPont patent estate comprises more than 60 patents and patent applications related to the use of CRISPR for bacteria identification and immunization. It also comprises patent applications related to CRISPR-Cas gene editing technology.
Pioneer is applying CRISPR-Cas as an advanced plant breeding tool to develop seed products for greater environmental resiliency, productivity and sustainability. Pioneer has defined CRISPR-Cas guiding principles, which include helping enable others wanting to develop agricultural products using CRISPR-Cas by providing access to its IP, technology capabilities, infrastructure and scientific expertise.