DuPont and Caribou Biosciences Announce Strategic Alliance
- DuPont and Caribou cross-license CRISPR-Cas intellectual property portfolios
- DuPont and Caribou enter into multi-year research collaboration
- DuPont makes minority equity investment in Caribou
WILMINGTON, Del, Oct. 8, 2015 – Today, DuPont and Caribou Biosciences, a leading developer of CRISPR-Cas technologies for genome editing, jointly announced a strategic alliance. As part of the agreement, DuPont and Caribou have cross-licensed their respective patent portfolios, with DuPont receiving exclusive intellectual property rights for CRISPR-Cas technology applications in major row crops, and non-exclusive rights in other agricultural and industrial bioscience applications.
In addition, the alliance between DuPont and Caribou involves a multi-year research collaboration with scientists from the two organizations focused on enhancing the breadth, versatility and efficiency of the core CRISPR-Cas toolkit. DuPont also has made a minority equity investment in Caribou to further strengthen the working relationship.
“DuPont intends to lead in the application of CRISPR-Cas technology to improve agricultural productivity and enhance food security. Our alliance with Caribou is now at the forefront of this emerging science and will speed our development of this important platform to create long-term value for our company and our customers,” said James C. Borel, executive vice president, DuPont. “Specifically, we believe CRISPR-Cas has significant potential to advance plant breeding and expand the range of agricultural solutions available to farmers. We look forward to bringing related products to market in the next five to 10 years.”
CRISPR-Cas technology is capable of making exact changes to the DNA of most organisms. In plants, this editing capability can be applied to promote drought tolerance and disease resistance to protect plant health and increase crop yields. It also can provide direct consumer benefits like the removal of food allergens and the improvement of the nutrient composition of plant-derived oils.
“We are delighted to work with DuPont on what we believe will be a truly groundbreaking collaboration,” said Rachel Haurwitz, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer and co-founder of Caribou Biosciences. “DuPont has been responsible for numerous breakthroughs in CRISPR biology and we are excited to gain access to their impressive knowledge and expertise in developing and applying Cas-mediated genome editing technologies in promising commercial areas. This initiative will serve as a vital accelerator to our advancement of new applications for CRISPR-Cas gene editing that will help bring the tremendous promise this technology holds for patients and consumers to reality.”
Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
This most recent license and collaboration agreement completed by DuPont represents a cornerstone of its strategy as an early adopter and leader in the CRISPR-Cas field. It complements DuPont’s own estate of related patent applications, and adds to the previously announced licensing and collaboration agreements with Vilnius University.
CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is a feature naturally existing in bacteria providing protection against viruses. DuPont scientists were among the first to understand how the CRISPR system works in bacteria. CRISPR-Cas (CRISPR associated proteins) is one of several CRISPR-derived tools and differs from the natural CRISPR process used to identify and immunize bacteria. The DuPont patent portfolio comprises more than 60 patents and patent applications related to the use of CRISPR for bacteria identification and immunization. It also comprises multiple patent applications related to the CRISPR-Cas genome editing technology.
DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders, we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com.
Forward Looking Statements: This document contains forward-looking statements which may be identified by their use of words like “plans,” “expects,” “will,” “believes,” “intends,” “estimates,” “anticipates” or other words of similar meaning. All statements that address expectations or projections about the future, including statements about the company’s strategy for growth, product development, regulatory approval, market position, anticipated benefits of recent acquisitions, timing of anticipated benefits from restructuring actions, outcome of contingencies, such as litigation and environmental matters, expenditures and financial results, are forward looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are based on certain assumptions and expectations of future events which may not be realized. Forward-looking statements also involve risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the company’s control. Some of the important factors that could cause the company’s actual results to differ materially from those projected in any such forward-looking statements are: fluctuations in energy and raw material prices; failure to develop and market new products and optimally manage product life cycles; ability to respond to market acceptance, rules, regulations and policies affecting products based on biotechnology; significant litigation and environmental matters; failure to appropriately manage process safety and product stewardship issues; changes in laws and regulations or political conditions; global economic and capital markets conditions, such as inflation, interest and currency exchange rates; business or supply disruptions; security threats, such as acts of sabotage, terrorism or war, weather events and natural disasters; ability to protect and enforce the company’s intellectual property rights; successful integration of acquired businesses and separation of underperforming or non-strategic assets or businesses, including timely realization of the expected benefits from the separation of Performance Chemicals. The company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statements as a result of future developments or new information.
# # #