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Inscripta Makes New CRISPR Enzyme Free for Researchers

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Gene-editing technology company Inscripta announced today that it is releasing a new CRISPR enzyme it has developed free of charge to the research community.

The enzyme, called MAD7, is part of the so-called Madagascar family of novel RNA-guided nucleases that Inscripta is developing. MAD7 was initially characterized in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli. It is now available for all research with no up-front licensing fees, and Inscripta also said it will not charge any reach-through royalties on products made using this technology. The firm will charge single-digit royalty for use of MAD7 for non-R&D purposes such as manufacturing, inclusion of the enzyme in therapeutics, or for resale.

"Gene-editing opens up huge possibilities for advances in how we feed, fuel, and heal humanity. Yet for too long, commercial access to CRISPR enzymes has been controlled by the technology transfer arms of a few major research institutions, which have restricted access with prohibitive terms of use," Inscripta CEO Kevin Ness said in a statement. "Today, Inscripta is liberating the scientific community, giving them a clear path to pursue new research and discoveries using MAD7, and sparking innovations across biotechnology."

The firm also said it hopes that releasing MAD7 to the broader researcher community at an early stage in its development will "catalyze the testing, improvement, and adoption of MAD7 and expedite the development of the MADzyme family for the benefit of researchers worldwide." Inscripta will continue to characterize and test the enzyme on mammalian cells, and develop new MAD enzymes in the coming months. 

Inscripta, which was formerly called Muse Biotechnology, raised $23 million through an oversubscribed Series B financing round in February. At the time, the company said the financing would allow it to accelerate the commercialization of its ForgeCraft genome-editing technology. The technology is based on a multiplex version of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing called CREATE — short for CRISPR/Cas9-enabled trackable genome engineering — combined with forward design software, proprietary reagents and algorithms, and an automated instrument.