Newly Formed Intellia Therapeutics Announces $15 Million In Funding
Published: Nov 18, 2014
November 18, 2014
By Krystle Vermes, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
California-based Caribou Biosciences announced today that it has launched Intellia Therapeutics with $15 million in venture capital, to form a company that will utilize the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing and repair technology platform.
This company was created in collaboration with Atlas Venture in an effort to develop new therapies targeting genetic-based diseases. Atlas Venture and Novartis recently led a Series A investment round with $15 million for Intellia Therapeutics.
"We are delighted to have partnered with Atlas Venture in the founding of Intellia Therapeutics," said Rachel Haurwitz, chief executive officer and co-founder of Caribou Biosciences. "The exceptional management team assembled and external advisors assembled for Intellia will enable it to translate the potential of Caribou’s CRISPR-Cas9 platform for gene editing and repair into viable clinical programs."
Caribou has given Intellia an exclusive license to utilize its platform and commercialize human gene and cell therapies. The platform is based on a protein called Cas9, which is derived from a bacterial system known as CRISPR. This protein destroys invading viruses within the body.
"We are excited to work closely with the team at Caribou, whose scientific leadership has helped shape the CRISPR field as we know it today," said Nessan Bermingham, chief executive officer and co-founder of Intellia. "Caribou is an ideal partner for Intellia as we seek to rapidly advance new therapies into the clinic, while further developing the technology to realize its full potential for a wide range of patient needs."
Cas9 can be used to guide RNAs to target a specific protein. Caribou’s technologies are based on research surrounding CRISPR systems carried out at the Doudna Lab at the University of California at Berkeley. Caribou is building and deploying its CRISPR-Cas9 technology platform through relationships with companies in a wide variety of markets.
“Our strategic focus is on rapidly advancing our CRISPR-Cas9 platform through collaborations with industry leaders. Our partners provide us with direct market feedback to focus the development of our cellular engineering capabilities," Haurwitz continued. "We believe these collaborations and partnerships will be the driver of our evolution from a platform development company towards robust, product-focused revenue generation."
Caribou is also pursuing opportunity to develop its platform for new therapeutics in the anti-microbial and animal health spaces. It is currently integrating its discoveries in therapeutic research into the agricultural biotechnology and industrial biotechnology spaces.