MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Jan. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Cellecta, Inc. today announced the receipt of Phase II SBIR grant funds from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to advance development of CRISPR/Cas9 library technology. These advances improve the performance and increase the utility of genetic screens for disease studies. The improved screening platform will include genome-wide human and mouse CRISPR libraries and incorporate innovative features, such as multiple expression of sgRNAs that result in more effective irreversible gene disruption, enhanced gene activation (CRISPRa), or gene inhibition (CRISPRi). These technology improvements will be made available to the research community and are expected to lead to enhanced drug discovery in many therapeutic areas.
"The work we are carrying out supported by this Phase II grant will accelerate systematic identification of new drug and biomarker targets, as well as facilitate the development of more successful targeted therapeutics," said Donato Tedesco, Ph.D., Cellecta Director of R&D. "Functional genomics screening comes with its unique challenges. We look forward to meeting these challenges with a significant improvement in what is becoming a go-to technology—CRISPR/Cas9—which we hope will drive meaningful discoveries to benefit human health."
The advanced CRISPR libraries will:
Improve effectiveness of gene knockout in CRISPR knockout applications
Increase promoter activation in CRISPRa and repression in CRISPRi applications for greater efficiency
Reduce off-target effects for greater specificity
The set of tools now in development includes:
More efficient, genome-wide pooled sgRNA human and mouse CRISPR lentiviral libraries
A greater breadth of CRISPR-based libraries that enable more diverse genetic screens in a wider range of cell models
Expert services for custom library design, functional genetic screening and hit confirmation/validation assays
The Phase II SBIR grant will allow Cellecta to provide researchers worldwide with a broader range of highly efficient, scalable and cost-effective genetic screening tools readily accessible on www.cellecta.com by late 2018.
Cellecta, Inc. is the first commercial provider of a lentiviral-based CRISPR library targeting all 19,000+ human protein-coding genes. Cellecta is an industry leader in RNAi and CRISPR technologies for the discovery and characterization of novel therapeutic targets, and genetic profiling for biomarker discovery. Numerous scientific papers have been published citing Cellecta's functional genomics portfolio offering gene knockout and knockdown screens, custom and genome-wide RNAi and CRISPR libraries, cell engineering, RNAi and CRISPR construct services, and targeted expression profiling and biomarker discovery in disease samples.
Cellecta, Inc. is headquartered in Mountain View, California. Further information about the company and its functional genomic products and services may be found online at www.cellecta.com