Friday, November 21, 2014

Novartis invests in gene editing technology

Announced earlier this week, Novartis will be joining in forces with Atlas Venture, a partnership created to back start up Intellia Therapeutics which will focus on gene editing technology in the oncology field. One of the key players in the start- up team is the former chief scientific officer of AbbVie, John Leonard and they will be based in Camebridge, Massachusetts.  The key technology CRISPR Cas9, which according to Fierce Biotech, works by developing  host bacterial cells incorporate short bursts of DNA sequences from invaders that can trigger disease which has the potential to create huge shifts in oncology treatment.  They are in-licensing this technology from Caribu Biosciences.

Plans for the initial work include:
Initially Intellia plans to focus on ex vivo work, where cells are collected from patients and then modified for therapeutic purposes before being injected back into patients--with applications relevant to CAR-T and checkpoint inhibitors. An in vivo approach can later be used to correct genes found inside cells, with applications in ophthalmic, central nervous system, muscle, liver, anti-infective and other disease.

This March at the Genome Editing Applications event, Caribou Biosciences will be joining us at the event to share more about this technology in the presentation Crisper Designs for Cas9-mediated Genome Engineering.  For more information on this session and the rest of the program, download the agenda.  If you'd like to join Caribou Biosciences in Boston March 18-19, as a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code D15223BLG to save 20% off the standard rate. Have any questions or want to get involved? Reach out to Jennifer Pereira.

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