Poseida, Demeetra and Hera BioLabs have recently launched a new tool for the targeted alteration of genes that offers an attractive alternative to the widely used CRISPR-Cas9 method. Their system, Cas-CLOVER™, employs the endonuclease Clo51, discovered and characterized by Dr Ralf Kühn* at the Institute of Developmental Genetics of the Helmholtz Zentrum München. The Helmholtz Zentrum München has patented this technology in collaboration with Ascenion to create a solid basis for its commercialization.
The three companies have acquired exclusive licences for Clo51 and, by fusing the enzyme to inactive Cas9, have created a system that is just as efficient as CRISPR-Cas9, but more precise, as no off-target activity has been observed. This confers a significant advantage, particularly for the development of gene therapies.
The method will be made broadly available by the companies: Poseida develops innovative approaches to cellular immunotherapy and gene therapy, Demeetra supports applications in industrial biotechnology and agriculture, and Hera BioLabs provides services in drug discovery and pre-clinical research. In addition, third parties may acquire licences to use the Cas-CLOVER™ technology as a research tool.
*at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) since 2014.