MIT researcher Feng Zhang will be the principal investigator for the Broad Institute’s collaboration with Cyrus Biotechnology. (HHMI Photo)
Seattle-based Cyrus Biotechnology says it’ll collaborate with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard on ways to optimize CRISPR gene-editing techniques for use in developing novel human therapeutics.
CRISPR has revolutionized genetics by making it easier to modify the DNA coding in the genome, but more needs to be done to address safety concerns for human applications. Cyrus Biotech and the Broad Institute will work on ways to reduce the potential for the body to mount an immune response against CRISPR-based therapies.
MIT biochemist Feng Zhang, one of the pioneers in the development of CRISPR, will be the principal investigator for the effort at the Broad Institute. The results of the collaboration will be published in peer-reviewed journals and made freely available to the academic and non-profit scientific community.
Privately held Cyrus Biotech offers software and partnerships to accelerate the discovery of engineered proteins, primarily for therapeutic applications. Its software tools are derived from the Rosetta protein-modeling platform, which was developed at the University of Washington.