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Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Precision Biosciences announced Thursday that the European Patent Office had revoked competitor Cellectis’ patent on single-chain meganucleases, including those derived from I-CreI.

Claims to hybrid meganucleases were canceled or severely restricted, .

A proprietary technology developed by Precision, called Directed Nuclease Editor (DNE), enables the production of genome editing enzymes that can be customized to modify essentially any gene in plant or animal cells.

“We are enormously pleased with the decision of the Opposition Division. This clears the way for Precision Biosciences and its partners to practice the DNE technology in Europe unencumbered,” said Derek Jantz, Precision Biosciences’ vice president of scientific development.

The decision restricted the patent’s claims to cover only certain hybrid meganucleases that, according to Jantz, “are not, to my knowledge, currently in commercial use.”

“Oddly, Cellectis issued a press release claiming that the [patent office] ‘upheld’ their patent despite the fact that they lost all of their claims to single-chain meganucleases,” said Precision Biosciences CEO Matthew Kane. “We hope all of their patents are similarly ‘upheld,’” he added.

Cellectis has the right to appeal the decision of the Opposition Division.

DNE technology enables the production of custom genome editing enzymes that can insert, remove, modify and regulate essentially any gene in mammalian or plant cells.