The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued the first patent for an engineered CRISPR-Cas9 system that is enabling scientists to modify genes and better understand the biology of living cells and organisms. The Broad Institute applied for the patent in concert with the January 3, 2013, publication in Science (Cong, et al.) that described the use of the CRISPR enzyme Cas9 for genome editing.

U.S. patent no. 8,697,359 is assigned to the Broad Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and includes claims to the engineered CRISPR-Cas9 system and methods of using the system.

“The CRISPR-Cas9 system is an extraordinary, powerful tool. The ability to edit a genome makes it possible to discover the biological mechanisms underlying human biology and, potentially, to treat certain human diseases,” said Eric Lander, Ph.D., director of the Broad Institute. “Consistent with the Broad’s mission to accelerate the understanding and treatment of disease, we are committed to empowering the global research community by making this technology broadly available to scientists for research around the world.”

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