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Companies Collaborate on CRISPR Guide RNA Libraries With Lentiviral Vector Delivery

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The UK's Horizon Discovery has partnered with CRISPR guide RNA (gRNA) design software firm Desktop Genetics and lentiviral particle firm Vectalys to create customizable libraries for CRISPR/Cas9-based genetic screening.

The fully-licensed kits will offer gRNA design from London-based Desktop Genetics packaged in lentiviral vectors from Toulouse, France-based Vectalys for delivery into cells. Horizon provides IP coverage for CRISPR/Cas9 and experience working with CRISPR applications such as functional genome-wide association study validation, target validation, and target identification.

"Through this collaboration, we are able to provide an unparalleled solution for CRISPR screening," Horizon CEO Darrin Disley said in a statement. "To be able to offer this as a fully-licensed solution is truly remarkable."

The firms said in a statement that the libraries will allow researchers to do genome editing in cell lines that proved difficult to edit with standard CRISPR delivery methods.

Financial and other details of the collaboration were not disclosed.

Horizon has worked closely with Desktop Genetics on CRISPR-related software since 2013, when they began partnering on gRNA design algorithms. Earlier this month, Horizon announced a partnership with Fulcrum Therapeutics to use CRISPR screening in drug target discovery.

For Desktop Genetics, it's the newest collaboration since the firm announced a partnership with synthetic DNA provider Twist Bioscience in June.