Billerica, Massachusetts, May 17, 2017 — MilliporeSigma today has developed a new genome editing tool that makes CRISPR more efficient, flexible and specific, giving researchers more experimental options and faster results that can accelerate drug development and access to new therapies.
MilliporeSigma’s research on proxy-CRISPR, “Targeted Activation of Diverse CRISPR-Cas Systems for Mammalian Genome Editing via Proximal CRISPR Targeting,” was published in the April 7, 2017 edition of Nature Communications. The article explains how to make CRISPR more efficient, flexible and specific by opening up the genome for the cutting of DNA, giving researchers more editing options.
CRISPR genome editing technology is advancing treatment options for some of the toughest medical conditions faced today, including chronic illnesses and cancers for which there are limited or no treatment options. The applications of CRISPR are far ranging — from identifying genes associated with cancer to reversing mutations that cause blindness. CRISPR enables genome editing using an enzyme called Cas9 to cut DNA, but this has limited targeting abilities. This limitation led to MilliporeSigma’s focus on proxy-CRISPR.
MilliporeSigma has a 14-year history in the genome editing field, and was the first company to globally offer custom biomolecules for genome editing (TargeTron™ biomolecules and zinc finger nucleases), driving adoption of these techniques within the global research community. MilliporeSigma was also the first to manufacture arrayed CRISPR libraries covering the entire human genome, accelerating cures for diseases by allowing researchers to explore more questions about the root causes. MilliporeSigma supports development gene- and cell-based therapeutics and manufactures viral vectors, as well. In 2016, the company launched a genome editing initiative aimed at advancing research in this area through a dedicated team and enhanced resources, further solidifying the company’s commitment to this field.
The new technology is a follow-on to MilliporeSigma’s existing CRISPR applications. The company’s next suite of genome editing tools for the research community, to be launched later in 2017, will include novel and modified versions of Cas and Cas-like proteins.
MilliporeSigma’s CRISPR Epigenetic Activator (p300-Cas9), which advances the way scientists explore epigenetic modification and associated diseases, was recognized as one of the Top 10 Innovations by The Scientist in 2015.
About the Life Science Business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
The Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which operates as MilliporeSigma in the U.S. and Canada, has 20,000 employees and 60 manufacturing sites worldwide, with a portfolio of more than 300,000 products enabling scientific discovery. Udit Batra is the global chief executive officer of MilliporeSigma.
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany completed its $17 billion acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich in November 2015, creating a leader in the $125 billion global life science industry.
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, the vibrant science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 51,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene-editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2017, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany generated sales of €15.3 billion in 66 countries.
The company holds the global rights to the name and trademark “Merck” internationally. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials. Since its founding 1668, scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to the company’s technological and scientific advances. To this day, the founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. For more information about Merck, KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, visit www.emdgroup.com.