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New England Biolabs, CasZyme Collaborate to Identify, Commercialize CRISPR-Cas Nucleases

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – New England Biolabs and startup company CasZyme announced today that they have formed a multi-year collaboration to identify and commercialize CRISPR-Cas nucleases.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will work to characterize new Cas nucleases using their expertise in enzymology, and NEB will then manufacture and commercially distribute the nucleases globally.

"The scientific founders of CasZyme are pioneers in CRISPR-Cas research, with a significant history of advancing our understanding of key enzymes involved in nucleic acid recognition in the context of bacterial immune systems," Ted Davis, NEB's executive director of applications and product development, said in a statement. "We are excited to undertake this joint endeavor that we believe will advance CRISPR-Cas science and enable new applications of Cas9 enzymes in vitro and in vivo."

CasZyme, which is based in Lithuania, is developing and characterizing new tools to support CRISPR-Cas research. One of its founders is Vilnius University Professor Virginijus Šikšnys, who demonstrated in 2012 that CRISPR-Cas9 can be used to engineer precise double-strand breaks in DNA.