Guilty verdict finalized for scientist in ‘gene scissors’ patent case

SEOUL– The Supreme Court on Wednesday finalized a guilty verdict for Kim Jin-soo, a pioneer of genome-editing technology, for fraud and dereliction of duty.

Kim, the founder of biotech firm ToolGen Inc., was indicted on charges of illegally transferring the patent for a gene-editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9 to his firm while heading the state-funded research project.

A lower court initially acquitted Kim of the charges, but an appellate court overturned the ruling and handed down a suspended prison term.

On Wednesday, the nation’s top court finalized the verdict, saying there is no legal error in the earlier ruling.

Often called “genetic scissors,” CRISPR-Cas9 is a revolutionary gene-editing tool that can possibly lead to the development of anticancer cell therapies and the correction of various genetic defects.

Source: Yonhap News Agency