After a few months hibernation due to covid-19 pandemic, your fund managers were back to work in June, starting looking for next startups to invest. Following two months of analyzing many companies and performing due diligence on a couple of promising ones, we have made investment to CRISP-HP Therapeutics, Inc., a generic engineering company, focusing on CRISPR-based technologies. The company has developed its own next generation CRISPR platform (Cas9-HR) designed to reduce toxicity and increase error free editing efficiency. The work is based on the owner’s Ph.D. research work, which is under peer review for publication.
Why do we like the company? We think 1) the technology is potentially a break through in CRISPR gen editing; 2) the valuation is very attractive; 3) the owner is very cacheable
The following is the abstract of the paper for those familiar with CRISPR technology. The whole paper can be downloaded from BioRxiv.
“CRISPR/Cas9 has revolutionized genetic engineering, however, the inability to control double strand break (DSB) repair has severely limited both therapeutic and academic applications. Many attempts have been made to control DSB repair choice, however particularly in the case of larger edits, none have been able to bypass the rate-limiting step of Homologous Recombination (HR): long-range 5’ end resection. Here we describe a novel set of Cas9 fusions, Cas9-HRs, designed to bypass the rate-limiting step of HR repair by simultaneously coupling initial and long-range end resection. Cas9-HRs can increase the rate HR by 2-2.5 fold and decrease cellular toxicity by 2-4 fold compared to Cas9 in mammalian cells with minimal apparent editing site bias, thus making Cas9-HRs an attractive option for applications demanding increased HDR rates for long inserts and/or reduced p53 pathway activation.”