Updated on 8 January 2015
The technology allows scientists to easily and precisely edit the genes of targeted cells
Singapore: Pharmaceutical giant, Novartis, has collaborated with biotech firms, Intellia Therapeutics for the discovery and development of new medicines using CRISPR genome editing technology and Caribou Biosciences for the development of drug discovery tools.
CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is an approach that allows scientists to easily and precisely edit the genes of targeted cells. In a short period of time it has proven to be a powerful tool for creating very specific models of disease for use in drug discovery and has great potential for use as a therapeutic modality for treating disease at the genetic level by deleting, repairing or replacing the genes that cause disease.
"We have glimpsed the power of CRISPR tools in our scientific programs in NIBR, and it is now time to explore how to safely extend this powerful technology to the clinic," said Mr Mark Fishman, president, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR). "CRISPR has the potential to open a new branch of medicine, editing the genome to cure disease. Much remains to be learned, and we are delighted to explore these directions with colleagues from Intellia and Caribou."
Research and development activities at Novartis will focus on using CRISPR ex vivo for engineering chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (CARTs) and hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs).