Caribou Biosciences’ CEO discusses CRISPR progress, future goals, and gender equality in biotech

Founded in 2011, Caribou Biosciences is a pioneer in the development of CRISPR genome editing technologies, a field honored with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020. Co-founded by Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D., one of the Nobel laureates, and CEO Rachel Haurwitz, and two other CRISPR pioneers, the company has raised over $800 million in funding, including significant investments from industry giants like Pfizer. In 2021, the company entered the clinic with their lead program and completed a successful $350 million IPO.

“Today, we’re laser focused on using Caribou’s next generation CRISPR technology, which we call chRDNA technology to advance a pipeline of wholly owned off the shelf CAR-T and CAR-NK cell therapies,” said Haurwitz in a recent interview at the JP Morgan Health Care conference.

CRISPR: From lab to clinic in about a decade

Rachel Haurwitz, Ph.D., CEO of Caribou Biosciences

Rachel Haurwitz,…

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GenScript debuts single- and double-strand DNA service for cell and gene therapy development

The popularity of CRISPR-based non-viral gene insertion techniques is fueling interest in CRISPR/Cas genome-editing technology that uses the homology-directed repair (HDR) pathway to insert DNA sequences.

To respond to that demand, biotech services firm GenScript has introduced GMP-compliant single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and closed-end linear double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) services.

The company’s GenExact ssDNA services support up to 5000 nt in length and 100mg per batch production scale.  GenWand services offer closed-end, linear dsDNA up to 10,000 nt in length and gram level/batch production scale.

Launching the services at the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy annual meeting, Piscataway, New Jersey-based GenScript now boasts a range of non-viral HDR payload materials for early discovery research, process development and clinical trials.

The company said the offerings would also help facilitate CAR-T drug development.


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ERS Genomics and ZeClinics team up on gene-edited zebrafish disease models

The zebrafish, commonly found in aquariums, is widely tapped in drug development to understand disease mechanisms.

The advent of CRISPR gene editing has given researchers more flexibility in developing disease models, thanks to its ability to create gene-edited zebrafish variants.

To that end, the privately-held company ZeClinics (Barcelona) is using CRISPR-based techniques to make unique zebrafish variants. The company recently announced a licensing agreement with privately-owned ERS Genomics (Dublin), which holds intellectual property related to the popular genome-editing method known as CRISPR-Cas9.

“By providing [ZeClinics] access to this foundational CRISPR/Cas9 intellectual property, ZeClinics is able to continue to provide valuable preclinical models and services for drug discovery and development,” said Eric Rhodes, CEO of ERS Genomics, in a statement.

In particular, the collaboration could…

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