We CRISPR for You
With our alternative genome editing tools, we bring your projects to success rapidly and cost-efficiently
Access to genome editing tools is a basic requirement for many life science or biotech projects. However, the restrictive licensing terms of the few active players and the remaining uncertainty regarding intellectual property make this access difficult.
For this reason, we have been developing our own proprietary Cas nucleases for several years. From a pool of over 2,000 identified nucleases, we have advanced the development of two main families of nucleases. These are already being used in our own projects as well as in customer projects – e.g. to optimize the metabolic performance of microbial production strains within a short time.
We enable your genome editing projects
Customers benefit from the use of our genome editing nucleases in contracted development projects. In addition, they can obtain access to our technology via licensing for their own genome editing projects. Our technology can be applied in the following areas:
- Industrial Biotech
We currently are consolidating our genome editing activities under the brand Akribion Genomics.
What can genome editing do?
Genome editing using CRISPR-Cas (Cas9, Cas12 or others) has revolutionized a slow process in nature: that of natural selection, i.e. the successful reproduction of those organisms that are best adapted to their environmental conditions. With CRISPR-Cas technology, not only can the selection process be accelerated enormously; above all, the process becomes targeted and precise. Molecular biologists can use it to selectively insert, remove or modify individual DNA segments in living organisms.
Chronological development and type of targeted genome modifications: Targeted genome modifications can be achieved using rare cleaving nucleases, such as zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), meganucleases (mns, also termed homing endonucleases); MegaTals as fusions of meganucleases and Talens; and clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) RNA-guided nucleases.
The evolution of our nucleases:
BRAIN Metagenomes (BMC) and BRAIN-Engineered Cas (BEC)
To identify and engineer the novel BMC and BEC nucleases, we used metagenome sequencing techniques. Thus, we identified novel CRISPR-associated class 2 nucleases from metagenome samples that exhibit low sequence homology relative to other CRISPR nucleases. Promising nucleases were advanced by protein engineering. BEC exhibits a unique molecular mechanism for CRISPR nucleases.
Patents to protect the nuclease DNA sequences have been filed and we expect to be able to use this system freely in the future ("freedom to operate").
We will be happy to provide you with further technical details upon request.
Let's start with nature
Metagenomics samples were selected using rational bioprospecting and the DNA of all microorganism living in those habitats was isolated.
Metagenomics meets Bioinformatics
The isolated DNA was sequenced using state of the art next generation sequencing techniques and analyzed to identify novel genome editing tools.
Shaping the heroes
The selected metagenomics sequences were optimized by protein engineering to enhance the genome editing activity and specificity and one best performing prime candidate was selected (BEC).
BEC comes into action
To perform genome editing, the BEC protein loaded with a specific gRNA is introduced into the target cell.
Select the target
With the help of a specific spacer sequences incorporated inside the gRNA the BEC protein can be programmed to find and bind a specific region on the genome of the target cell.
Processing the DNA
If the programmed spacer sequence perfectly matches the DNA sequence present in the genome the BEC protein precisely cuts the DNA at the predefined position.
The native repair mechanism of the target cell repairs the DNA that was targeted by the BEC protein in a non-prefect way leading to small insertions or deletions inside the genome. This mechanism can be used to knock-out genes.
The targeted DNA can be repaired by the integration of a repair fragment that researchers can design to precisely integrate genes of interest into the genome.
The BEC protein can be used to specifically knock-out or knock-in genes to optimize the genome of a variety of organisms.