Four-pronged partnership to produce automated systems for CRISPR
Joining Oxford Genetics and Sphere Fluidics will be joined in this by Twist Bioscience and the University of Edinburgh. Oxford Genetics and the University will be working together to provide input on the developing products.
Oxford Genetics has been working to develop automated laboratory processes to facilitate intelligent data handling, and this project serves as a continuation of that initiative. In August 2018, Oxford Genetics signed a supply and licensing agreement to employ its high throughput automated genomic engineering platform for CRISPR modification of mammalian cell lines.
Tom Payne, CSO of Oxford Genetics, said in a statement, “Gene editing, particularly CRISPR technologies, have revolutionized the way scientists are able to engineer mammalian cells for a wide variety of applications. While these technologies are highly efficient, there is a requirement to further optimize the way laboratories deliver the CRISPR tools to cells and interrogate the resultant products.”
Per the agreement, Sphere Fluidics will act as lead partner and take on production, Oxford Genetics and the University of Edinburgh will provide input into industrial and application-specific needs for the products designed for multiplexed gene editing workflows.
Sphere Fluidics said in a statement that it plans to use this partnership to develop a desktop system to miniaturize and automate the genome editing of single cells.
“This system will enable scientists to easily perform automated genome editing and create new cell lines and valuable biomedical products,” said Frank Craig, CEO of Sphere Fluidics.
Twist Bioscience will contribute DNA synthesis capabilities and necessary reagents for the project.
The delivery of tools can increase throughput and reduce timelines, which in turn has the ability to create new avenues of research and commercial applications, according to Payne.