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Inscripta Licenses MAD7 CRISPR Nuclease to Hunterian Medicine

NEW YORK – Genome engineering company Inscripta said on Tuesday that it has granted a nonexclusive license for its MAD7 CRISPR nuclease to gene editing and gene therapy company Hunterian Medicine.

The enzyme, which was developed in 2017, is part of Inscripta's in-house-developed Madagascar family of novel RNA-guided nucleases. MAD7 was initially characterized in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli and was confirmed to have editing activity in mammalian cells a year later.

Under the terms of the license agreement, Hunterian will have the right to use MAD7 or improved MADzyme nucleases in its gene editing programs to develop human therapeutics. Hunterian's proprietary technology enables in vivo delivery of CRISPR via a single adeno-associated virus vector.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Inscripta said it has introduced a new commercial licensing model for biopharma companies for access to its technology, and that Hunterian is the first biopharmaceutical organization to license MAD7 under that program. Inscripta originally released the nuclease for free in 2017 for academic and commercial R&D.

"The vast therapeutic potential of gene editing has one primary barrier: delivery. Hunterian solved this problem by enabling CRISPR systems to fit inside a single AAV," Hunterian CEO Vinny Jaskula-Ranga said in a statement. "Inscripta is similarly reducing barriers to innovation by providing access to its MAD7 nuclease and other improved MADzyme nucleases. For therapeutic indications, MAD7 is a particularly important alternative to commonly used Cas9 nucleases given that it has significantly fewer off-target effects."