Axcelead Drug Discovery Partners and ERS Genomics Enter into CRISPR/Cas9 License Agreement


Fujisawa, Japan and Dublin, Ireland, October 4, 2018 – Axcelead Drug Discovery Partners, Inc.(hereinafter referred to as “Axcelead”) and ERS Genomics Limited (hereinafter referred to as “ERS Genomics”) announced today a non-exclusive license agreement to provide Axcelead with worldwide access to ERS Genomics’ CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing intellectual property to enhance their drug discovery service offering. ERS Genomics holds rights to the foundational CRISPR/Cas9 patent portfolio from Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, co-inventor of the breakthrough gene editing technology.

Axcelead is the first comprehensive integrated drug discovery solutions provider in the pharmaceutical industry in Japan, having succeeded some portion of the drug discovery research department of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. Axcelead started its business in July of 2017 and offers a comprehensive list of drug discovery services in a broad range of therapeutic areas.

“We look forward to being able to offer our customers an expanded service offering that includes use of this important gene editing technology,” said Yoshinori Ikeura, CEO of Axcelead. “We expect the addition of the CRISPR/Cas9 technology for creation of genetically modified animals or cells to complement our strong capability in non-clinical drug discovery research. These animals or cells are indispensable tools for reliable drug discovery studies including validation of target and proof of concept study.”

“We are pleased to include Axcelead among the rapidly growing list of licensees to this fundamental CRISPR/Cas9 patent portfolio,” commented Eric Rhodes, CEO of ERS Genomics. “This is our first license in Japan following the issuance of our patent in Japan back in May. I would also like to acknowledge the help of Summit Pharmaceuticals International Corporation, our licensing partner in Japan, in putting this agreement in place.”

Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier’s research unveiled the key components and mechanisms of the CRISPR/Cas9 system that led to the landmark publication with Jennifer Doudna (Jinek, Chylinski et al., 2012), which laid the foundation for the use of CRISPR/Cas9 as a highly versatile and precise genome editing tool.

Axcelead has all the functions related to non-clinical drug discovery research and is also able to draw on the scientific powerhouse of our personnel with expertise, deep knowledge and experience in a range of therapeutic areas through their previous work at Takeda. Axcelead offers a one stop-shop research services with a comprehensive set of best-in-class capabilities to meet a range of customer needs to bridge basic and applied clinical research, from exploratory research to optimizing compounds. Axcelead is based in Fujisawa, Japan. More information can be found at:

ERS Genomics was formed to provide broad access to the foundational CRISPR/Cas9 intellectual property held by Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier. Non-exclusive licenses are available for research and sale of products and services across multiple fields including: research tools, kits, reagents; discovery of novel targets for therapeutic intervention; cell lines for discovery and screening of novel drug candidates; GMP production of healthcare products; production of industrial materials such as enzymes, biofuels and chemicals; and synthetic biology:

Contact: Axcelead Drug Discovery Partners, Inc.

Business Planning and Operations

Contact: ERS Genomics Limited

Mario Brkulj or Kara Mazey
MacDougall Biomedical Communications

For ERS Inquiries in Japan Contact Summit Pharmaceuticals International Corporation
Yoshikazu Ando Ph.D., Discovery & Alliance Coordination Dept.