AMRI has entered into a non-exclusive commercial license agreement with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for the use of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology and has completed several projects for its customers. The company will continue to use the technology to enhance its drug discovery service offerings and internal research and development. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"While many people know CRISPR for its potential to edit defective genes to cure disease, there are a range of other applications in drug discovery for which CRISPR has significant utility that are critical to our customers' R&D projects, notably drug target assessment and in vitro model development for lead discovery and optimization," said Christopher Conway, Senior Vice President, Discovery and Development Services at AMRI. "We are committed to continue to build our services offerings so that we stay in the leading position with important technologies such as CRISPR to enhance the success of our customers' programs."
The CRISPR/Cas system serves as a naturally-occurring bacterial immune system that confers resistance to foreign genetic elements such as those from viruses. It has been developed as a precise method for editing the genetic code in mammalian cells, which allows researchers to effectively knock out or enhance the expression of targeted genes. It offers great utility in the development of in vivo and in vitro disease models, which are important for drug discovery research.
Under the terms of the commercial use license, AMRI gained access to IP related to CRISPR-Cas9 technology that is being used to enhance AMRI's drug discovery services offerings and associated client programs. The application of CRISPR-Cas9 technology benefits a number of the specific services that AMRI provides to its customers, including protein production, cell line and assay development, high content screening and analysis, and target validation and assessment.