Precision BioSciences reported the receipt of four government grants totaling over $3 million during the third quarter of 2010, to support development of its Directed Nuclease Editor (DNE) genome-engineering technology. The funds have been awarded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Treasury Department, NIH, and the State of North Carolina.
“These grants will enable us to further refine applications of the technology, particularly as it pertains to cell-line engineering,” comments Michael Nicholson,director of cell biology. “Precision is poised to utilize DNE technology to address major challenges facing the biomanufacturing industry.”
Precision’s DNE technology is based on the production of custom-made DNA-cutting meganucleases with unique DNA-recognition and cleavage properties. The result is DNE enzymes with the ability to precisely modify a specific, user-defined target within a genome, Precision claims. The firm says its DNA approach has been successfully applied repeatedly in both mammalian and plant cells.
Precision is harnessing the DNE platform for the development of treatments for genetic and viral diseases, for generating new tools for biomanufacturing and diagnostic applications, and for engineering in the crop and fuel sciences fields.
For biotherapeutic applications the firm is developing engineered meganucleases to enable the precise in situ correction of diseases genes. For cell engineering and molecular biology applications the platform is being exploited for cloning and molecular analysis, and to facilitate the rapid generation of cell lines with multiple genetic changes, or the production of large numbers of isogenic bioproducer cells without the need to clone from a single cell. DNE also enables the production of genetically engineered animal models that precisely mimic human disease genotypes, the firm adds.