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Oxford Nanopore Licenses CRISPR-Cas9 IP From Caribou Biosciences for Targeted Nanopore Sequencing

NEW YORK – Oxford Nanopore Technologies said today that it has signed a non-exclusive agreement with Caribou Biosciences to license Caribou's foundational CRISPR-Cas9 patents for targeted nanopore sequencing.

ONT plans to use the IP for CRISPR-Cas9-mediated enrichment of DNA targets for nanopore sequencing.

"The Cas9 technique will enable users to select and isolate the regions of the genome they are most interested in, including those not available to existing methods, [to get them] ready for rapid analysis using our long-read, real-time sequencing technology," Oxford Nanopore CEO Gordon Sanghera said in a statement. "The entire library preparation process takes less than two hours, so if combined with our portable sequencer MinIon, this has the potential to open up fast-turnaround, near-sample testing in new ways."

Using CRISPR-Cas9 to enrich targets for nanopore sequencing obviates the need for DNA amplification and enables fast, simple, flexible, and targeted sequencing of regions of interest more than 100 kilobases in length, Oxford Nanopore said. The technique allows for analysis of regions of the genome that were previously only accessible with long-read whole-genome sequencing and is suitable for characterizing repeat expansions, SNVs, and SVs, while retaining the methylation status of the native molecule.

The company added that it plans to release a Cas9 Sequencing Kit later this year, though researchers can access a protocol and bioinformatics tutorial as of now.