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BIRD Foundation Supports NovellusDx, Christiana Care Gene Editing Institute Collaboration

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Christiana Care has announced that the Gene Editing Institute of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center has landed a $900,000 grant from the Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation to spur a partnership with Israel's NovellusDx.

The Wilmington, Delaware-based Gene Editing Institute and NovellusDx will collaborate on genome editing technologies and their application to cancer research. NovellusDx offers a platform for identifying driver mutations facilitating cancer progression. Under the partnership, the Gene Editing Institute will re-create mutations to help Novellus identify and design personalized therapies.

"Thanks to this generous BIRD Foundation grant, this partnership promises to be a catalyst that will speed progress in personalized medicine for many forms of cancer," Graham Cancer Center Medical Director Nicholas Petrelli said in a statement. The BIRD Foundation promotes technology development collaborations between US and Israeli organizations.

Under Directo Eric Kmiec, the Gene Editing Institute has pursued research on a number of different technologies, including CRISPR/Cas9 and single-stranded DNA oligos. It has also partnered with the Wistar Institute on genome editing in cancer research.

In a statement, the partners said they plan to commercialize any jointly developed technology and are finalizing a licensing agreement.

The BIRD Foundation noted in a statement that it doesn't receive equity or intellectual property rights from grantees; however, it does receive royalty repayments.