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News Release
June 14, 2017
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Karen Tiano +1 978-495-0093

MilliporeSigma Awarded its First CRISPR Patent by Australian Patent Office
  • Patent covers successful integration of an external DNA sequence into the chromosome of eukaryotic cells using CRISPR
  • Similar patents pending in other countries; anticipate favorable outcomes

Billerica, Massachusetts, June 14, 2017 MilliporeSigma today announced that the Australian Patent Office has granted the company patent rights relating to the use of CRISPR in a genomic integration method for eukaryotic cells.

MilliporeSigma has a 14-year history in the genome-editing field. It was the first company to offer custom biomolecules for genome editing globally (TargeTron™ RNA-guided group II introns and CompoZr™ zinc finger nucleases), driving adoption of these techniques by researchers all over the world. MilliporeSigma was also the first company to manufacture arrayed CRISPR libraries covering the entire human genome, accelerating cures for diseases by allowing scientists to explore more questions about root causes.

With MilliporeSigma’s CRISPR genomic integration technology, scientists can replace a disease-associated mutation with a beneficial or functional sequence, a method important for creation of disease models and gene therapy. Additionally, scientists can use the method to insert transgenes that label endogenous proteins for visual tracking within cells.

In May 2017, MilliporeSigma announced that it had developed an alternative CRISPR genome-editing method called proxy-CRISPR. Unlike other systems, MilliporeSigma’s proxy-CRISPR technique can cut previously unreachable cell locations, making CRISPR more efficient, flexible and specific, and giving researchers more experimental options. MilliporeSigma has filed several patent applications on its proxy-CRISPR technology, and those applications are just the latest of multiple CRISPR patent filings made by the company since 2012.

In addition to basic gene-editing research, MilliporeSigma supports development of gene- and cell-based therapeutics and manufactures viral vectors. In 2016, MilliporeSigma launched a genome-editing initiative aimed at advancing research in novel modalities — from genome editing to gene medicine manufacturing — through a dedicated team and enhanced resources, further solidifying the company’s commitment to the field.

About the Life Science Business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

The Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which operates as MilliporeSigma in the U.S. and Canada, has some 21,000 employees and 59 manufacturing sites worldwide, with a portfolio of more than 300,000 products focused on scientific discovery, biomanufacturing and testing services. Udit Batra is the global chief executive officer of MilliporeSigma.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany completed its $17 billion acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich in November 2015, creating a leader in the $125 billion global life science industry.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 56,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene-editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2018, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of €14.8 billion in 66 countries.

The company holds the global rights to the name and trademark “Merck” internationally. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials. Since its founding 1668, scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to the company’s technological and scientific advances. To this day, the founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. For more information about Merck, KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, visit www.emdgroup.com.