The USA’s Knudra Transgenics has agreed a deal with ERS Genomics which allows it to use the Ireland-based company’s CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing intellectual property for use in engineering of model organisms.
ERS Genomics holds rights to the foundational CRISPR-Cas9 patent portfolio from Emmanuelle Charpentier, an inventor of the breakthrough gene editing technology.
Financial details of the non-exclusive license agreement have not been disclosed. It will allow Knudra scientists to use CRISPR technology to engineer C. elegans, (commonly known as nematodes or roundworms) and D. rerio, known as zebrafish, to build custom models and develop related products for their customers, who are researchers and private entities.
Both organisms are used widely as powerful platforms for medical discovery and drug development in both basic research and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.
Eric Rhodes, chief executive of ERS Genomics, said: “Knudra is a young and energetic group of highly-skilled gene editing experts and we are very pleased to provide them with access to the most powerful genome engineering technology available.
“We believe Knudra is a great example of how a smaller company, dedicated to building platforms for medical discovery, can benefit from use of this exciting new technology. It is very important to ERS Genomics to provide broad access to the foundational technology and we are focused on enabling as many of these companies as possible to harness CRISPR-Cas9 in multiple areas.”
Chris Hopkins, chief scientific officer of Knudra, added: “CRISPR-Cas9 is a very powerful tool and we are excited to have gained access to this technology through ERS Genomics. We fully expect to see an enhancement to our current genome editing capabilities.”
Only last week ERS Genomics announced another agreement with Evolva, giving the Swiss company, which is a leader in fermentation-based approaches to specialty chemicals, access to ERS’ CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing intellectual property.