US firm offers CRISPR viral knock-out library for R&D

By Fiona BARRY

- Last updated on GMT

Knock-out: CRISPR allows scientists to edit the human genome
Knock-out: CRISPR allows scientists to edit the human genome

Related tags Dna Gene

Genomics services company Cellecta is offering gene-editing tool CRISPR to researchers wanting to “knock out” human gene functions.

The Californian company has released the CRISPR guided RNA (sgRNA) knock-out library as a high throughput screening tool targeting all human protein coding genes.

The technology allows scientists to see how human cells respond to the disruption of a specific gene across the whole genome, in a single experiment.

Cellecta’s CRISPR library is based on the lentivrus family and offers portions for immediate viral packaging and as pre-packaged lentiviral particles that can be used in knock-out screening immediately.

The company said its offering is divided into three modules, each targeting a third of the human genome with eight sgRNAs per gene.

Pharma researchers can use each of the three modules separately or in combination for a single genome-wide experiment.

"Our intention is to provide a high quality tool to help accelerate the understanding of which genes play key roles in biological responses and disease pathology​," said Alex Chenchik, Chief Scientific Officer of Cellecta.

CRISPR deals

The gene-editing tech, which uses RNA-guided endonucleases to edit genomes, is becoming a popular tool in biopharma R&D.

Several companies have filed patents on aspects of the tech, including French company Cellectis,​ which surprised the pharma world in January when it announced its patent may block use of CRISPR by several big pharma firms. ThermoFisher bought the tech from Cellectis – not to be confused with Cellecta – last month.

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