Cyrus Biotechnology, Inc., and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have embarked on a scientific collaboration to optimize CRISPR for use in developing novel human therapeutics.
CRISPR allows for the highly specific and rapid modification of DNA in a genome, which can dramatically accelerate the drug discovery process.
Feng Zhang will be the principal investigator for the Broad for the collaboration. He is also an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).
Together, researchers from Cyrus and Broad will work together to mitigate the possibility of the body mounting an immune response against CRISPR. The teams are committed to making the results of their collaboration broadly available for research to help ensure that therapeutic development — bringing this technology to the clinic — has the best chance of success, while also considering important ethical and safety concerns. The teams have also committed to publishing their results in peer reviewed journals and to make this work freely available to the non-profit and academic scientific community.
Issi Rozen, chief business officer at the Broad Institute, said, “Broad researchers and their collaborators have pioneered the development and sharing of new genome editing tools, such as CRISPR-Cas9, which are revolutionizing and accelerating nearly every aspect of disease research and drug discovery around the world. With this collaboration, scientists will continue to improve the technology towards new tools and therapeutics, important to benefiting patients in the long term.”
Cyrus CEO Dr. Lucas Nivón added, “We have validated our computational deimmunization platform in a variety of systems, and now seek to apply it where it can make a major impact. Given the extensive therapeutic possibilities of CRISPR systems, and the leading position the Broad Institute and Dr. Zhang hold, we are very excited to work in partnership with them to make these molecules more amenable for use in humans with maximal efficacy and minimal side effects.”
Cyrus provides commercial and partnered access to Rosetta, which is the world’s leading protein modeling and design software platform. Rosetta has been used to direct the computational design of multiple biologic molecules that have advanced to both pre-clinical and clinical development. Among these are drugs being developed by companies including PVP Biologics, Tocagen, Lyell and others.
About Cyrus Biotechnology
Cyrus Biotechnology, Inc. is a privately-held Seattle-based biotechnology software company offering software and partnerships for protein engineering to accelerate discovery of biologics and small molecules for the Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical, Chemical, Consumer Products and Synthetic Biology industries. Cyrus methods are based on the Rosetta software from Prof. David Baker’s laboratory at the University of Washington and HHMI, the most powerful protein engineering software available. Cyrus customers include 13 of the top 20 Global Pharmaceutical firms and is financed by leading investors in both Technology and Biotechnology, including Trinity Ventures, Orbimed, Springrock Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, and W Fund.