CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Editas Medicine, Inc. (Nasdaq: EDIT), a clinical stage genome editing company, today announced that the journal Nature Biotechnology published the comprehensive data from a study of the proprietary SLEEK (SeLection by Essential-gene Exon Knock-in) gene editing technology.
Despite major progress in achieving gene disruption with CRISPR-Cas gene editing technologies, efficient knock-in of transgenes continues to be a significant challenge for the gene editing field. To solve this challenge, SLEEK was developed to enable high knock-in efficiency with both viral and non-viral transgene formats while also ensuring robust simultaneous expression of up to four transgene cargos.
The study demonstrated that utilizing SLEEK results in the knock-in of multiple clinically relevant transgenes through a proprietary process that specifically selects only those cells containing the knock-in cargo. This process was developed by leveraging Editas Medicine’s proprietary engineered AsCas12a nuclease, which can achieve very high editing efficiency while maintaining high specificity. More than 90 percent knock-in efficiencies were observed in various clinically relevant target cells, including T cells, B cells, iPSCs, and NK cells. Additionally, SLEEK can be used to fine-tune the expression levels of transgene cargos, an important feature of next-generation cell therapies. As a demonstration of SLEEK’s potential value in clinical applications, the study authors used SLEEK to generate iPSC-derived NK cells capable of high-levels of in vivo persistence and robust tumor clearance in a solid tumor animal model.
“We are thrilled Nature Biotechnology published our paper sharing the comprehensive data on our SLEEK gene editing technology as we believe SLEEK has immense potential for gene editing drug development. As shared in the publication, SLEEK technology enables nearly 100 percent knock-in of functional transgene cargos at specific locations in the genome which may result in highly efficient multi-transgene knock-in for the next generation of cell therapy medicines,” said John A. Zuris, Ph.D., Director of Editing Technologies, Editas Medicine, and senior author on the study.
Editas Medicine believes that SLEEK may enable better product purity as well as shorter manufacturing timelines for the next generation of cell therapy medicines. Earlier this year, the Company announced it licensed its interest in the SLEEK technology to Shoreline Biosciences for specific usage in iPSC-derived NK and iPSC-derived macrophage cell therapies for oncology. The SLEEK technology remains an important Editas capability in iPSC engineering for a wide variety of future applications.
About Editas Medicine
As a clinical stage genome editing company, Editas Medicine is focused on translating the power and potential of the CRISPR/Cas9 and CRISPR/Cas12a genome editing systems into a robust pipeline of treatments for people living with serious diseases around the world. Editas Medicine aims to discover, develop, manufacture, and commercialize transformative, durable, precision genomic medicines for a broad class of diseases. Editas Medicine is the exclusive licensee of Broad Institute and Harvard University’s Cas9 patent estates and Broad Institute’s Cas12a patent estate for human medicines. For the latest information and scientific presentations, please visit www.editasmedicine.com.
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