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Last month, Bayer AG opened the doors on a $335 million joint venture with Crispr Therapeutics to develop therapies using a new gene-editing tool. Later this year, rivalEditas Medicine Inc. will move into larger digs as it, too, races ahead with a $200 million-plus effort to leverage the gene-editing tool into new drugs.

Companies working on this special technology have raised over $600 million since 2013 in venture capital and the public markets, researchers at Montana State University estimated in 2015. More deals continue to be signed, and this month Crispr Therapeutics said it plans to go public and wants to raise up to another $90 million.

The flurry belies the fact that the companies don’t actually know yet who owns the intellectual-property rights to the technology.

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