Caribou Biosciences and DuPont team up to advance genome editing platforms

DuPont and Caribou Biosciences announced Thursday they have formed an alliance in order to advance each of their CRISPR-derived genome editing technology platforms.

Terms of the multiyear research collaboration and license agreement include DuPont and Caribou Biosciences cross-liscensing their CRISPR-Cas based intellectual property portfolios, granting Caribou privilege in their product development in multiple different fields.

CRISPR-Cas technology can make changes to the DNA of most organisms. The editing capability can be applied to promote drought tolerance and disease resistance in plants to increase crop yields. It also has the capability to remove food allergens and the improve the nutrient composition of plant-derived oils. 

CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) naturally exist in bacteria, providing protection against viruses. DuPont researchers were among the first to understand how the CRISPR system works. CRISPR-Cas (CRISPR associated proteins) is one of several CRISPR-derived tools and differs from the natural CRISPR process used to identify and immunize bacteria.

The license also includes the rights to the Cas9-mediated genome editing intellectual property owned by Vilnius University and licensed exclusively to DuPont. 

"We are thrilled to partner with DuPont on this initiative and to work collaboratively with the company to speed our product development and actualize the significant promise that CRISPR-Cas genome editing holds for patients and consumers," Caribou President and CEO Rachel Haurwitz said. 

The two companies also announced that DuPont has made a minority equity investment in Caribou. The terms of the investments and funding were not disclosed. 

"Caribou is at the forefront of CRISPR-Cas technology, and we are pleased to be collaborating with them to advance this important breakthrough in biology," DuPont Executive Vice President James Borel said. "Genome editing, through the use of CRISPR-Cas technology, is of particular interest to DuPont as a way to accelerate plant breeding and to address the need for increased global food production."

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