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In addition to developing effective genetic therapies for various diseases, the union of these two companies will also continue with research and develop the use of bacteriophages designed to target bacterial infection. This is just the beginning and still in the clinical trial phases, but at least it is well funded and the goal of these companies is to ultimately "manufacture and commercialize CRISPR-Cas3-enhanced products targeting bacterial pathogens for the potential treatment..."
The up to $818 million deal between Locus Biosciences and Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a division of Johnson & Johnson) that was announced yesterday points toward a new path for CRISPR gene editing technologies and (potentially) the whole field of microbiome-targeted therapies...
While the Cas9 CRISPR technologies can edit targeted DNA — either deleting specific genetic material or replacing it with different genetic code — Cas3 simply removes DNA strains. “Its purpose is the destruction of invading DNA,” says Locus chief executive, Paul Garofolo...
Locus is already commercializing a version of its technology with bacteriophages designed to target e coli bacteria to treat urinary tract infections. The company is on target to begin its first clinical trials in the third quarter of the year...
The focus on bacterial infection and removing harmful bacteria while ensuring that the rest of a patient’s microbiome is intact is a huge step forward for treating diseases that scientists believe could be linked to bacterial health in a body, according to Garofolo.
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