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Biocom California Newsletter Article

Biocom recognizes our members making an impact on World CRISPR Day.

8 Biocom Member Companies Leveraging CRISPR Technology

  • 2020-10-20T19:00:00.000+0000
  • California
  • Author: Harry Chang

This month, Biocom joined the life science community in celebrating two new Nobel Prize laureates in Chemistry: Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D. of the University of California, Berkeley and Emmanuelle Charpentier, Ph.D. of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens. Doudna and Charpentier have been recognized for their co-development of CRISPR/Cas9, a revolutionary genome editing technique. The two became the first women in history to win a Nobel in the sciences together. The speed at which the committee has chosen to award Doudna and Charpentier is a testament the discovery’s impact on the advancement of research and the life science ecosystem. Countless companies are leveraging CRISPR to improve human health and would not be around today if it weren’t for the powerful technology.

Today, on World CRISPR Day, we continue to marvel at the breadth of work California’s life science leaders and Biocom members are putting forth to advance CRISPR research and applications.

One such member, Synthego, provides software to simplify gRNA design. Their technology allows users to choose from over 120,000 genomes and over 8,300 species to easily design guide RNAs for gene knockout with minimal off-target effects. In addition, Synthego is hosting today’s 2020 World CRIPSR Day event.

Co-founded by newly-minted Nobel Prize winner, Caribou Biosciences’ CRISPR-Cas technology platform enables simple, flexible targeting of any site in a genome and finds applications in therapeutics, agricultural biotechnology, biological research and industrial biotechnology. The company has been researching and advancing the technology since Doudna helped start the company in 2011 and recently received FDA clearance for their first clinical-stage product candidate, CB-010.

Fellow Bay Area member Mammoth Biosciences, the engine behind the world’s first CRISPR-based platform for disease detection, and another company Doudna helped found, recently expanded their IP Portfolio to include the Casɸ protein family. The acquisition adds a versatile gene editing protein group that will contribute to precision, in-vivo application, and commercialization efforts.

Cardea and Innovation Partner CRISPR QC are innovating quality control technology that leverages electronic signals rather than optics or labels to accelerate research with their CRISPR-Chip. The technology has the potential to drastically expand patient access to use biology in real-world applications.

Elsewhere, new Biocom member Taconic uses the latest CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology to generate genetically-engineered animal models with a 100% success rate. Taconic holds CRISPR licenses from both UC Berkeley and the Broad Institute.

Another of Doudna’s spin-outs, Scribe Therapeutics, just recently announced their plans to build a platform for CRISPR-based genetic medicine to create therapies for diseases like genetically driven ALS. The company’s tools and mission have the potential to dramatically accelerate CRISPR’s applications into the clinical setting.

Refuge Biotechnologies in Menlo Park is developing intelligent cell therapeutics for cancer immunotherapy. Refuge's proprietary receptor-dCas platform leverages a unique gene engineering approach based on precision CRISPR activation (CRISPRa) and CRISPR interference (CRISPRi).

Another Biocom member in the Bay Area, Applied StemCell, is using their TARGATT™ technology to insert a gene-of-interest at a well-characterized, transcriptionally active locus in the genome with guaranteed transgene expression. They are moving forward to various projects that will combine the CRISPR/Cas9 technology and TARGATT™ for highly specified transgene expression.

Biocom is proud to advocate and support the incredible strides being made by our member companies in the CRISPR space. The rapid pace of discovery is a testament to both the talent and drive in our industry, and we’re proud to represent not just the snapshot of organizations listed here, but the industry as a whole, as they continue to march toward world-changing discoveries.

To submit information on your company’s CRISPR advancements, our member news submission process can be found here. Learn more about World CRISPR Day and watch sessions here.