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Broad Institute Licenses CRISPR Technology to DefiniGen for Human Cell Disease Models

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Cambridge, UK-based human cell products provider DefiniGen said today it has licensed CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology from the Broad Institute to develop human cell disease models.

The models will be used to support preclinical metabolic disease therapeutic programs, DefiniGen said. The Broad's CRISPR-Cas9 technology will be combined with DefiniGen's induced pluripotent stem cell differentiation platform to generate preclinical cell models for type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, and orphan liver disease drug discovery. According to the firm's website, its OptiDiff differentiation system utilizes GMP-compatible conditions to generate human cell products which have similar function and performance to primary human cells on an industrial scale.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Through our license with [the] Broad Institute, we are pleased to be able to enhance our customer's research programs by offering state-of-the-art CRISPR-Cas9 gene edited disease model cell products and custom services," DefiniGen CEO Marcus Yeo said in a statement.

The Broad has made several licensing deals for the CRISPR IP it holds over the past year, including with Thermo Fisher Scientific for products, tools, and research services; with Arcadia Biosciences to develop nutritional and agricultural productivity traits in its core crops; with Syngenta for use in multiple crops; and with Macrogen to build preclinical animal models, among others.