Merck, a leading science and technology organization, announced that it has signed a licensing agreement providing access to Merck's CRISPR genome-editing technology to Promega Corp, a multinational life science supplier headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, to produce research products and services, including those for drug development. "Under this licensing agreement, Promega plans to use our intellectual property to develop CRISPR-edited cell lines, which can play a major role in determining drug efficacy, toxicity and overall development," said UditBatra, member of the Merck Executive Board and CEO, Life Science.
The agreement would allow researchers to better interpret protein expression physiological or natural levels, which provides a better understanding of protein behavior. This approval greatly increases CRISPR's ability and, more significantly, gives scientists a new perspective on the development of natural cells. Merck wishes to continue expanding its portfolio of CRISPR intellectual property with developments such as paired Cas9 nickases, minimizing off-target effects, and proxy-CRISPR, offering more experimental opportunities for researchers to strengthen drug development and access to new treatments.
As a consumer and supplier of genome-editing technology, with careful consideration of ethical and legal requirements, Merck supports genome-editing work. An independent external Bioethics Advisory Panel has just been formed by the company to provide guidelines for research involving its companies, including research on or using genome editing.