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October 6, 2021updated 28 Oct 2021 1:06pm

Merck licenses CRISPR-Cas9 technology to Cellecta

With the ‘knock-in’ method, scientists can access more options for complex projects in therapeutic and disease research.

The Merck Life Science business sector has licensed its patented CRISPR-Cas9 technology to Cellecta for the development of next-generation treatments.

The licensing of the technology allows researchers and scientists to advance treatments for genetic blood disorders, cancers and ophthalmological diseases.

Cellecta plans to use the Life Science business’ CRISPR patent estate to provide the targeted CRISPR-mediated ‘knock-in’ method.

This critical method gives more efficient options to scientists for complex projects in therapeutic and disease research.

Merck life science gene editing and novel modalities head Angela Myers said: “We are committed to advancing research and drug discovery through the development of powerful, unique technologies.

“Our CRISPR-based foundational integration technology is essential for many genome-editing applications and is used to identify future treatments in myriads of cellular and genetic diseases.”

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Founded in 2006, Cellecta provides end-to-end RNAi and CRISPR genetic screening technologies to discover and characterise novel therapeutic targets.

It also provides genetic profiling for drug and biomarker discovery as well as validation for the development of next-generation treatments.

Cellecta chief operating officer Paul Diehl said: “Merck’s technology enables us to provide a more comprehensive range of options for cell modification to our customers.

“More specifically, access to this technology allows us to conduct integrated knock-in, which is a key component of our customer’s drug testing.”

The Life Science business of Merck has 40 CRISPR-related patents across the globe in methods and composition.

This includes the CRISPR-Cas9 foundational technology for genetic integration in mammalian cells.

Last month, Merck signed a partnership deal with French medical devices maker Biocorp to develop and market a specific version of the Mallya device for use in the field of Human Growth Hormone.

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