Integra Therapeutics has acquired an exclusive licence for a new CRISPR system discovered by an international research group led by Dr Raúl Pérez-Jiménez from CIC nanoGUNE which, for the first time, uses Cas-9 proteins dating back 2.6 billion years.
In this groundbreaking project, researchers carried out the computational reconstruction of the ancestral CRISPR sequences, synthesised them, and studied and confirmed their functionality.
The project involved teams from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the University of Alicante, the Rare Diseases Networking Biomedical Research Centre (CIBERER), the Ramón y Cajal Hospital–IRYCIS and other institutions. The founders of Integra Therapeutics, Dr Marc Güell (2022 National Research Award for Young People in technology transfer) and Dr Avencia Sánchez-Mejías, both took part in the study, characterising the protein for use in human cells.
The results of this project were published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Microbiology, and suggest that the revitalised systems not only work, but are more versatile than current versions and could have revolutionary applications in medicine.
“This scientific breakthrough provides us with different gene-editing tools that are significantly more flexible than those already available. It also opens up new approaches to treating genetic diseases and certain cancers”, explains Dr Avencia Sánchez-Mejías, CEO of Integra Therapeutics.
Integra Therapeutics is a global leader in creating next-generation gene-writing tools to make advanced therapies safer and more effective, and is supported by scientific advisors like Prof George Church.
Alonso-Lerma, B; Jabalera, Y; Samperio, S; Morin, M; Fernández, A; Hille, Logan T; Silverstein, R; Quesada-Ganuza, A; Reifs, A; Fernández-Peñalver, S; Benítez, Y; Soletto, L; Gavira, J; Diaz, A; Vranken, W; Sánchez-Mejías, A; Güell, M; Mojica, F; Kleinstiver, B; Moreno-Pelayo, M; Montoliu, Ll; Pérez-Jiménez, R. Evolution of CRISPR-associated Endonucleases as Inferred from Resurrected Proteins. Nature Microbiology (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41564-022-01265-y