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Crispr Therapeutics wins patent in Europe


Crispr Therapeutics wins patent in Europe

Crispr Therapeutics Inc., a Swiss-based biotech with its main research lab in Cambridge, said Tuesday it has won a broad patent in Europe for gene-editing technology licensed from the University of California in Berkeley and the University of Vienna. The intellectual property behind Crispr-Cas9, a key research tool for modifying DNA and removing genetic defects, is being disputed on both sides of the Atlantic. The technology used by Crispr Therapeutics, one of several Cambridge companies developing drugs using gene editing, was discovered by scientists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier. A rival company, Cambridge-based Editas Medicine Inc., won an important patent case in the United States last month when the US patent office ruled that Crispr-Cas9 discoveries by scientist Feng Zhang at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard — technology licensed by Editas — was distinct from the Berkeley and Vienna discoveries licensed by its competitors.



Wells Fargo to pay $110m to settle lawsuit over unauthorized accounts

Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $110 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over up to 2 million accounts its employees opened for customers without getting their permission, the bank announced Tuesday. It’s the first private settlement that Wells has reached since the company paid $185 million to federal and California authorities late last year. Authorities said bank employees, driven by high-pressure sales tactics, opened the bank and credit card accounts without customer authorization. The settlement will include customers who had accounts opened without their permission, or were signed up for a product they did not agree to, going back to Jan. 1, 2009. Wells Fargo says it believes this settlement, which is subject to court approval, will resolve the 11 other pending class-action lawsuits filed against it over the accounts. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Consumer confidence at highest level in more than 16 years

US consumer confidence climbed to its highest level in more than 16 years, a strong gain for one of President Trump’s preferred economic indicators. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to 125.6 in March from 116.1 in February, the best reading since December 2000. The index measures both consumers’ assessment of current conditions and their expectations for the future. Both improved this month.



Donkey Kong among nominees for hall of fame

The World Video Game Hall of Fame’s 2017 finalists span decades and electronic platforms, from the 1981 arcade classic ‘‘Donkey Kong’’ that launched Mario’s plumbing career to the 2006 living room hit ‘‘Wii Sports,’’ that made gamers out of grandparents. The hall of fame at The Strong museum in Rochester said Tuesday that 12 video games are under consideration for induction in May. They also include: ‘‘Final Fantasy VII,’’ “Halo: Combat Evolved,’’ “Microsoft Windows Solitaire,’’ “Mortal Kombat,’’ “Myst,’’ “Pokemon Red and Green,’’ “Portal,’’ “Resident Evil,’’ “Street Fighter II’’ and ‘‘Tomb Raider.’’ The finalists were chosen from thousands of nominations from more than 100 countries, said museum officials, who will rely on an international committee of video game scholars and journalists to select the 2017 class. The winners will be inducted May 4. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Uber pulls out of Denmark over new rules

The Danish branch of the ride-sharing service Uber said Tuesday it is shutting down its services in Denmark due to a proposed law that toughens standards for cabs. Uber’s spokesman in Denmark, Kristian Agerbo, said Uber which has been in Denmark since 2014, ‘‘must take the consequence’’ of the proposal demanding cabs and cars for hire must have seat occupancy sensors and meters. Agerbo said the proposal was ‘‘going in the wrong direction.’’ Uber will be ending its services in Denmark on April 18 but said it would retain a corporate presence in the Scandinavian country, where its engineers will continue to work on developing technology for the ride-sharing service worldwide. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Twinkies make a comeback

Healthy eating has become an obsession. Soft drink sales are slumping, salt is getting tossed from food, and kale is on the menu at McDonald’s. And yet the Twinkie, that icon of indulgence, is on a tear. For many otherwise healthy-eating American millennials, Twinkies have become food nostalgia. Nine months of forced disappearance from store shelves sharpened appetites for the golden sponge cake filled with fluffy cream, and after two bankruptcies, the 2013 acquisition of the Hostess Brands Inc. snack-cake business by a pair of private equity firms put the company back on the road to solvency. ‘‘For as much as millennials bring us challenges, they also have a belief that you only live once and you should enjoy yourself,” Bill Toler, chief executive officer of the Kansas City, Mo.-based Hostess, said in an interview. “They believe in a license to indulge.” — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Paris and London team up to draw visitors, businesses

Paris and London, traditional rivals when it comes to attracting tourists and industry, have signed a business agreement to cooperate in attracting visitors and companies. The two cities, which are linked by rail, have seen their rivalry intensify recently as Paris hopes to welcome finance jobs that are expected to leave London because of Brexit. On Tuesday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Paris’s Anne Hidalgo announced the Paris-London Business Welcome Program initiative. Hidalgo called it a ‘‘very positive dynamic that Brexit will not change.’’ It will launch in 2018 to encourage trade and investment between the two cities, as well as focusing on promoting culture and heritage. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Ford to spend more than $1b on three Michigan facilities

Ford Motor Co. is investing $1.2 billion in three Michigan facilities, including an engine plant where it plans to add 130 jobs. President Trump, who has pressured automakers to invest more and create jobs in the United States, applauded the move Tuesday in an early morning tweet. ‘‘Big announcement by Ford today. Major investment to be made in three Michigan plants. Car companies coming back to U.S. JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!,’’ Trump tweeted hours ahead of the announcement. The investments were in the works well before Trump took office, however. Ford announced plans to upgrade some of its Michigan plants in November 2015 as part of a new contract with the United Auto Workers union.


Twitter adding advertising to Periscope posts

Twitter Inc. is adding advertising to posts from its Periscope live-broadcasting tool — but only on the safest videos. As some of the world’s largest advertisers pull spending from Google’s YouTube video-sharing site amid concerns about placement with potentially offensive material, Twitter is touting that its Periscope ads will be placed predictably and only with high-quality publishers that the marketers choose. Twitter is struggling to win market share in a digital-ad market dominated by Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.



Chinese Internet firm invests in Tesla

Tesla won a vote of confidence from Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings, whose purchase of a 5 percent stake boosts Elon Musk’s ambitions to get his mass-market Model 3 electric sedan to buyers this year. Tencent paid about $1.8 billion for shares bought on the open market and from Tesla’s stock offering earlier this month, according to a regulatory filing. The sale of equity and debt padded Tesla’s coffers as Musk spends heavily on introducing the lower-priced Model 3. In buying the Tesla stake, Tencent is adding to existing investments in technologies that are reshaping the auto industry, including ride-hailing apps and the maps and artificial intelligence needed for driverless cars. — BLOOMBERG NEWS