10 Gene Editing Startups to Watch in 2020

Since the discovery of DNA’s structure, there has been ongoing research about it, and recently, we have not only learned to interpret it but also edit genetic code. Gene editing has been increasing its radius of application to improve the quality of life of people. It plays a very significant role in modern-day biology and is widely used in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industry. The ability to modify genome promises a revolution in the agricultural, health, and energy sectors.

Top 10 genome editing companies to watch:

 

Mammoth Biosciences

Research Focus: CRISPR based diagnostic tests for clinic and home

 

Mammoth Biosciences is a biotech company that grew out of a close relationship with CRISPR. Mammoth is led by two Stanford PhDs, Trevor Martin (CEO) and Ashley Tehranchi (CTO), and two Berkeley PhDs, Lucas Harrington, and Janice Chen.

This company has capitalized on CRISPR and has created the first CRISPR mediated platform for human disease detection. This makes tests in RNA/DNA sequences easier and affordable. Its main focus is on making health care easily available anywhere and very easy to conduct. It is working to develop a fast, simultaneous detection in real-time through a single credit card-sized strip.

gene editing

Verve Therapeutics

Research Focus: protect the world from heart disease using genome editing

 

Verve Therapeutics is a Series A financing company that is led by GV (formerly Google Ventures). It is a company that aims to focus on using CRISPR and gene editing techniques to treat coronary artery and cardiovascular disease. It is a purpose-built company with a founding team of world-leading experts in cardiovascular medicine and patient care, cardiovascular genetics, gene editing delivery technology, and safe drug development.

Preclinical studies done have shown the promise of gene editing to reduce cholesterol and other coronary artery disease risk factors safely. The company has already licensed CRISPR patents from Broad Institute and Harvard University. The founders and investors believe that gene editing can create a new paradigm for treating coronary artery diseases.

 

Sangamo Therapeutics

Research Focus: Genomic Therapy

 

Sangamo Therapeutics is a company based in San Francisco, which develops and commercializes engineered DNA-binding proteins for the development of novel therapeutic strategies. It is committed to translating ground-breaking science into genomic medicines with the potential to transform patients’ lives using gene therapy, ex vivo gene-edited cell therapy, and in vivo genome editing and gene regulation. It is a company to conduct clinical trials with gene-edited T cells and use zinc finger nuclease technology.

Perfecting the use of zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs), this company has enhanced genome editing. They have yielded positive results from their combined strategy of adjusting the binding affinity of the zinc finger array, and slowing the catalytic rate of the Fok1 will increase in the diversity of ZFNs available for targeting.

 

Synthego

Research Focus: precise and automated to genome engineering

 

Synthego is a biotech company started by former SpaceX engineers. It is a leading provider of genome engineering solutions. Its vision is to bring precision and automation to genome engineering, enabling rapid and cost-effective research with consistent results for every scientist. Its main focus at the moment is the creation of crisper kits that can create genetic lined based on the need and creating clinical-grade material.

Synthego announced a Gene knockout kit v2 a few months back. This kit is designed to guarantee a gene knockout by grasping a bioinformatics powered strategy that employs numerous sgRNAs targeting the gene. This kit aims to accelerate the research by saving scientists from trial and error cycles in CRISPR experiments.

 

Plantedit

Research Focus: Using gene editing to produce sustainable plant products

 

Plantedit is a biotech company dedicated to use next-generation genome editing tools CRISPR/Cas9  and produces non-transgenic, regulatory free, sustainable, consumer-oriented genome-edited plant products. It is the first biotech company dedicated to using patented next-generation genome editing tools. In addition to producing cost-effective and applicable crop species, this company aims to develop mammalian protein and human drugs at cost-effective prices using the genome-edited plant platform. Its main focus at the moment is to develop crops that can withstand climate change, pathogen infection, and stress.

This company recently developed an oil named SOlive. SOlive is a modified form of soybean and is similar to olive oil and can be used in high temperatures and for a longer period. The company is currently also developing enhanced fruit products and turf grass with the hopes of generating sustainable food material.

 

Inscripta

Research Focus: natural and synthetic nucleases

 

Inscripta is a gene-editing technology company dedicated to creating the tools needed to revolutionize gene editing tools for academic and commercial customers. It has an enzyme engineering program instead of a particular application form which they aim to provide tools for their customers to custom create their own applications.

This biotech company has created a family of CRISPR enzymes (called MADzymes), bespoke nucleases, and a full suite of gene-editing tools (software, instruments, and reagents) that will significantly increase the speed and efficiency of precision gene editing. These developments will boast a high-throughput multiplexed genetic engineering platform that can synthesize enhanced bespoke enzymes for specific customer uses.

 

Caribou Biosciences

Research Focus: CRISPR for research, therapeutics and agricultural industries

 

Caribou Biosciences was founded by scientists from the University of California, Berkeley aiming to the commercialization of applications of nucleic acid modification capabilities found in CRISPR systems. They have been using genome editing to develop tools that provide transformative capabilities to therapeutics, biological research, agricultural biotechnology, and industrial biotechnology. Their mission is to develop therapies and products that would benefit society as a whole.

Caribou has already partnered with other companies and developed a CRISPR edited waxy corn, which is resistant to drought and diseases. It has used genome editing in a UK livestock company to breed healthier pigs and cows by editing the embryos and hence, this company has made it a priority from the outset to partner with companies across multiple industries, including basic research, food, and human health, to commercialize CRISPR as a tool.

 

Exonics Therapeutics

Research Focus:  CRISPR technology for neuromuscular diseases

 

Exonics is a biotech company focusing on the development of gene editing therapies to treat severe genetic neuromuscular diseases, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). It has been working on using adeno-associated virus (AAV) to deliver a payload based on CRISPR/Cas9 technology that can identify and correct mutations that prevent the production of dystrophin, a protein that helps stabilize and protect muscle fibers.

This company was initially launched to advance the research of Dr. Eric Olson on Duchenne muscular dystrophy in particular. Now this company is trying to use CRISPR to identify and repair the gene mutations and restore the dystrophin production.

 

Sherlock Biosciences

Research Focus: CRISPR based multi-platform testing solutions

 

Sherlock Biosciences is an engineering biology company dedicated to making diagnostic testing better, faster, and more affordable. This company has been using engineered tools of biology like CRISPR and Synthetic Biology to create molecular diagnostics that can rapidly deliver accurate and inexpensive results for a vast range of needs in virtually any setting. It uses SHERLOCK (Specific High-sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter unLOCKing) technology to detect genetic fingerprints across multiple organisms or sample types. It is also looking to develop INSPECTR (Internal Splint-Pairing Expression Cassette Translation Reaction), a Synthetic Biology-based molecular diagnostics. This would open a wide range of potential applications in areas including oncology, infection identification, at-home testing, and disease detection in the field.

 

Casebia Therapeutics

Research Focus: Using CRISPR editing to cure genetic diseases

 

Casebia Therapeutics is a gene-editing joint venture formed by Bayer and CRISPR Therapeutics. This joint venture was created to accelerate the field of gene editing therapeutics today. It is working using CRISPR/Cas9 technology and protein engineering to find therapies for a wide range of editing applications. This innovative gene-editing company has been developing synthetic RNA-guided nuclease known as Cas-sRGNsTM (pronounced “Cas-surgeons”). These nucleases exhibit properties that can assist in vivo genome editing applications. They have also been able to advance genetic engineering tools and treating genetic diseases like hemophilia.

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