Integra Therapeutics has been awarded €1-million grant from Eurostars, the largest funding programme of the European Commission that supports innovative SMEs in developing collaborative transnational projects geared towards the market. The company applied for the call as part of a consortium with Caszyme, a Lithuanian company that specialises in CRISPR technology and molecular tools development and application.
The funding of the project submitted by Integra Therapeutics and Caszyme will go towards discovery, characterisation and execution of in vivo studies on the 2.0 version of the Integra Therapeutics FiCAT gene-writing platform.
The key difference between FiCAT 1.0 and FiCAT 2.0 will be the addition of novel nucleases discovered by Caszyme, which have different characteristics from the Cas9 nucleases and expand their potential uses in advanced therapies. During the execution of the project, Integra and Caszyme will enhance the functionality of novel nucleases in human cells.
The partnership between Integra Therapeutics and Caszyme will unite scientific know-how and technology from top academic and industrial biomedical research. The founders of Caszyme are Prof. Virginijus Šikšnys, Dr. Giedrius Gasiūnas and Dr. Monika Paule, the first scientists to prove that CRISPR-Cas9 can be used to program DNA double-strand breaks in a genome of interest, opening a new era in gene editing.
The project is scheduled to kick off on the 1st of November 2022 and finish at the end of 2025.
The Eurostar programme is part of Horizon Europe and is managed by Eureka with a network of national coordinators from the 37 participating countries, which from Spain is the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI).