The past decade has witnessed the discovery and rapid advancement of novel genetic engineering technologies. While genome editing is not a new concept, directing precise sequence changes at desired sites has remained a challenge.
In recent years, new tools based on a bacterial CRISPR-associated protein-9 nuclease (“CRISPR/Cas9”) have generated considerable excitement. CRISPR and CRISPR-associated genes are essential for adaptive immunity in select bacteria and archaea, enabling the organisms to defend against invading viruses.
CRISPR/Cas9 was initially discovered in the 1980s in E. coli, but its function wasn’t confirmed until 2007. Recent research has demonstrated the CRISPR/Cas9 system’s potential to be efficient, adaptable, and highly flexible, making it an ideal gene editing tool.
Agenovir was founded based on technology developed in the laboratory of Stephen Quake, Ph.D.., a professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics at Stanford University. Agenovir is using state-of-the-art nucleases, including CRISPR/Cas9, to target viral DNA for disruption. By disrupting intracellular viral DNA, it may be possible to treat and eliminate persistent viral reservoirs.