Licensing deal set to enhance CRISPR/Cas libraries for target discovery and drug development

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Design Cells
© GettyImages/Design Cells

Related tags CRISPR

ERS Genomics, which was formed to provide broad access to the foundational CRISPR/Cas9 intellectual property co-owned by the one of the joint 2020 Nobel Prize winners for Chemistry, Dr Emmanuelle Charpentier, has granted a non-exclusive license agreement to German startup, Vivlion.

Vivlion holds an exclusive license to Goethe University of Frankfurt’s proprietary 3Cs technology for the production of next generation 3Cs CRISPR/Cas gRNA libraries, and it said the license from ERS Genomics means it can offer both R&D reagents and screening services to its customers worldwide.

“The unique 3Cs technology developed by Vivlion significantly expands the use of CRISPR/Cas libraries for target discovery and drug development,”​ said Eric Rhodes, CEO of ERS Genomics.

Enhancing CRISPR screening experiments 

A spokesperson for Vivlion told BioPharma-Reporter its 3Cs technology makes CRISPR screening experiments easier as it enables a 10-fold downscaling in experimental costs and efforts.

“This is due to the fact that, in libraries generated by 3Cs, sequence distribution is decoupled from diversity, meaning that quality is independent of the number of gRNAs, which, in turn, enables laboratories to obtain the same results with a much smaller experiment, as less coverage is needed to obtain similar data quality.”

3Cs enable multiplexing of gRNAs at genome scale, said the spokesperson. “With 3Cs, we can generate in one step any dual-combinatorial CRISPR library, which has all combinations of any two pools of genes. This is completely new to the CRISPR market and will facilitate the unbiased identification of gene interactions at scale, e.g. during synthetic lethality screening or synthetic gene interactions.”

The 3Cs technology also enables the generation of combinatorial libraries with fixed pairs of gRNAs, with fixed-pairs being pre-defined, said the Vivlion representative.  “In this way, genome-wide excision screening becomes feasible. This, for the first time, enables the systematic search for possible target regions in the entire non-coding genome.”

Vivlion was recently featured as ‘one to watch’ in a new Spinoff Prize competition launched by Nature and Merck in April this year.

ERS Genomics has granted 80 licenses worldwide since its foundation in 2014. It is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.

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