ST. LOUIS, March 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Canopy BiosciencesTM, LLC, an emerging provider of products and services for gene editing and personalized medicine, announced today that it has entered an exclusive licensing agreement with Washington University in St. Louis and Johns Hopkins for key intellectual property around a novel technology for gene editing. The TUNRTM Flexible Gene Editing system allows researchers unprecedented control over gene expression.
The technology was invented by Sergej Djuranovic, a professor at the Washington University School of Medicine and Rachel Green, a professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Johns Hopkins University. Results from a study of this technology were recently published in Nature Communications. Professor Djuranovic and Professor Green discovered that the level of expression of a given gene can be precisely controlled through the insertion of specific sequences of DNA. Longer sequences strongly suppress gene expression, while shorter sequences only mildly suppress expression. By varying the length of the sequence, a researcher can dial in the exact level of gene expression needed for their experiments.
“The TUNR Flexible Gene Editing System represents a major step forward in gene editing,” said Dr. Edward Weinstein, President and CEO of Canopy Biosciences. “Previously, researchers have only been able to completely delete, or ‘knockout’, a particular gene. With TUNR, we can dial in the exact level of expression necessary, such as 10, 25, or 75 percent. This has become particularly important for new immuno-oncology drug targets like PDL1, which has a range of expression in cancer patients and is used to predict their responsiveness to the latest promising cancer drugs.”
Canopy Biosciences, dedicated to bringing innovative technologies in gene editing and personalized medicine to market, was formed in 2016 and obtained $2 million in funding in December 2016. BioGenerator, an evergreen investor in promising companies in the Saint Louis region, is the lead investor along with several angel investors.
“This licensing agreement with Washington University and Johns Hopkins is a big step forward for Canopy Biosciences,” said Charlie Bolten, Vice President of BioGenerator. “BioGenerator is excited that our investment in Canopy Biosciences is already having a strong impact by bringing this promising new technology out of an investigator’s lab and making it available to the entire research community.”
The TUNR Flexible Gene Editing System is the initial product platform for Canopy Biosciences, and will be launched at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research on April 2, 2017.
About Canopy Biosciences
Canopy Biosciences was formed in 2016, partnering with leading research institutions to turn their discoveries into tangible products and make them available to the entire research community. Canopy Biosciences is headquartered in Saint Louis, Missouri, and serves researchers at universities, research institutions, and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies worldwide.
Canopy Biosciences and TUNR Flexible Gene Editing are trademarked by Canopy Biosciences, LLC.