In the never-ending saga of CRISPR patents, the University of California has finally put some points on the board in the U.S., with the Patent and Trademark Office granting it two genome-editing patents. One, granted on Tuesday, was first applied for in 2014. The other and more significant patent, applied for in 2015 but based on a 2012 discovery, will be granted next week.
The granted patent, number 9,994.831, covers “methods and compositions for modifying a single stranded target nucleic acid.” Next week’s, which is to be issued on June 19, covers the use of CRISPR-Cas9 for genome-editing in anything other than a bacterial cell and, specifically, where the guide RNA is formed by two other molecules “to form a total of 10 to 15 base pairs.” (Base pairs, or nucleotides, are the “letters” that constitute DNA and its cousin RNA.) Next week’s patent is considered more foundational and therefore significant.