Agilent Launches Challenge Against Patent Office Denial of CRISPR gRNA Patent Rights

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today stated its intention to challenge the ruling of the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office’s (USPTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) regarding the Inter Partes review (IPR) on the Agilent Patents. Astonishingly, the PTAB reversed the original USPTO decision in regards to the claims related to a chemically modified synthetic CRISPR guide RNA.

Agilent strongly disagrees with the PTAB’s finding of unpatentability in light of earlier examination by the USPTO. Our patents are also featured in the widely acclaimed paper by Hendel, Ayal et al. entitled “Chemically modified guide RNAs enhance CRISPR-Cas genome editing in human primary cells” which was published inNature biotechnology, vol. 33, 9 (2015).

The Agilent Patents unearth a revolutionary feat in the world of CRISPR-Cas9: the successful synthesis and testing of hundreds of chemically modified CRISPR guide RNA molecules that dramatically improve the efficiency of gene editing.

Prior to Agilent’s inventive work, it was uncertain whether such modifications would disrupt the gRNA:Cas enzyme complex; the productive outcome of the multidisciplinary team working in concert with Agilent’s patented chemical synthesis methods provides an exciting answer.

Agilent’s industry-leading expertise in nucleic acid synthesis has enabled it to expand its product range to include both research-grade and cGMP-grade guide RNA products with cutting-edge chemical modifications. These SureGuide research-grade gRNA lab materials are manufactured and sold from their production facility in Santa Clara, California, while their large-scale, ClinGuide cGMP-grade products are crafted in their state-of-the-art facility based in Boulder, Colorado.

Agilent aims to challenge the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit with its groundbreaking contributions from its scientists, while keeping its patent family open in concurrent, ongoing claims.

Even though their PTAB decision doesn’t affect Agilent’s pursuit of CRISPR technologies, nor hinder its production of quality guide RNAs, Agilent still stands as a leader in this space. This PTAB decision won’t deter them from continuing to make and sell their exceptional chemically modified gRNA guides.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. has been leading the way for analytical and clinical laboratory technologies for over 20 years – providing answers to customers’ most difficult questions with a range of solutions like instruments, software, services, and expertise.

With a revenue of $6.85 billion in fiscal 2022, Agilent is making a global impact with its 18,000 hardworking people worldwide. Their goal is to bring great science to life and provide trusted answers.

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