LEXINGTON - 02/10/2020 (PRDistribution.com)
Announcement Key Points
“High fidelity editing is extremely important to us and our partners as off-targets can effect important characteristics such as growth rate and cloning efficiency in bioprocessing systems” said Jack Crawford CEO of Demeetra. Demeetra and Hera recently collaborated to validate Cas-CLOVER in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines for bioprocessing. “Cas-CLOVER is a perfect fit for us as we move into crop trait engineering where we want to minimize off-target risks and reduce timelines due to backcrossing which is required with traditional chemical mutagenesis” he added.
Hera’s SRG OncoRat® is another example of nuclease applications. The Sprague Dawley strain was engineered to contain a knockout in both the Rag2 and IL2rg genes resulting in a fully immunodeficient rat. Dozens of human tumor models have been validated in the OncoRat (link to some examples), including a prostate cancer model recently published in a top tier drug development journal (5).
“Cell and gene therapy research may especially benefit from Cas-CLOVER where off-target mutagenesis is unacceptable” added Mike Schlosser the CEO of Hera. Both proliferating and resting human T-cells have been successfully targeted by Cas-CLOVER to remove cell surface markers associated with graft versus host disease (GVHD) (4).
Hera Biolabs, Inc., based in Lexington, KY is an innovative preclinical contract services, products and licensing company. Our mission is to use cutting-edge gene-editing technologies to accelerate preclinical research and drug and cell-based therapeutic discovery and development. Hera built the SRG platform, an immunocompromised double knockout Sprague-Dawley rat engineered for T-cell, B-cell, and NK cell deficiency. Our first established commercial model is the SRG OncoRat, a valuable complement or alternative to oncology studies in mice, and well suited for xenograft oncology studies given its excellent tumor take-rates, large tumor mass, and smooth transition from efficacy to safety. Hera sells the SRG OncoRat to researchers and has been conducting oncology/pharmacology studies for clients over the past 5 years. Using immunocompromised husbandry procedures, our experienced staff performs studies in our on-site state-of-the-art vivarium that features dual HEPA-filtered, disposable IVC rodent caging systems. We’re also continuing to use our proprietary Cas-CLOVER CRISPR system and piggyBac gene-editing technologies and know-how to expand our robust pipeline of models and services.
Demeetra AgBio is “Engineering Traits for Life” by introducing gene editing technologies in the agriculture, industrial, pharmaceutical & animal health industries. We provide licenses for Cas-CLOVER (the clean CRISPR/Cas9 alternative) and piggyBac transposase or partner under joint development agreements for applications in the engineering of crops and agricultural animals, plant-based drug development and enhanced bioprocessing in human & animal health.
1. Tsai et al. (2014) Dimeric CRISPR RNA-guided FokI nucleases for highly specific genome editing. Nature Biotechnology.
2. Lee et al (2015) Site-specific integration in CHO cells mediated by CRISPR/Cas9 and homology-directed DNA repair pathway. Scientific Reports
3. Li et al (2018) Cas-CLOVER™: A High-Fidelity Genome Editing System for Safe and Efficient Modification of Cells for Immunotherapy. Precision CRISPR Congress Poster.
4. Wang et al. (2017) Genome Editing of Therapeutic CAR-T Cells Using A Novel Clo51-dCas9 (NextGEN™) CRISPR System. American Society for Cell & Gene Therapy Poster.
5. Ponnusamy (2019) Orally -Bioavailable Androgen Receptor Degrader, Potential Next-Generation Therapeutic for Enzalutamide-Resistant Prostate Cancer. Clinical Cancer Research