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Oxford Genetics, a leader in innovative synthetic biology-based technologies for biologics discovery and development, today announces it has signed a non-exclusive licensing agreement with ERS Genomics to access its foundational intellectual property related to CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology.

The agreement grants Oxford Genetics the rights to use the technology for the provision of genome engineering services, and as part of it ongoing R&D for cell line development and gene therapy viral vector improvement. The license also allows the development and commercial sale of research tools and reagents, and the use of CRISPR edited cell lines for the GMP manufacturing of bio-therapeutics.

According to BCC Research, the global market for genome editing is estimated at $206 million in 2014, and is expected to grow to reach over $2.0 billion by 2020. The availability of the latest technologies is vital to supporting this rapid growth within the industry.

"Oxford Genetics is committed to driving innovation in the biopharmaceutical industry. Licensing the CRISPR gene editing technology from ERS Genomics is another step on our journey to establishing the most efficient and integrated service portfolio in this sector," commented Dr. Paul Brooks, Ph.D., CCO, Oxford Genetics. "We are excited to be adding this technology to our existing portfolio in the synthetic biology space and supporting the rapidly expanding market for products and services that utilise genome engineering technologies.”

The licensing of this technologies comes just two months after Oxford Genetics announced the award of a £1.61M Innovate UK government grant aimed at optimising the bioproduction of complex biologics via screening methodologies. The licensing of the CRISPR genome engineering technology will enable the business to explore and answer a diverse set of previously unaddressed biological questions via automated high-throughput screening approaches.  

Eric Rhodes, CEO at ERS Genomics added, “We’re pleased to add Oxford Genetics into our portfolio of licensees as they provide important tools and services to support the needs of the life science and pharmaceutical research and manufacturing communities. This further supports ERS’ goal of making the CRISPR technology broadly available.”

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