CMN Weekly (16 July 2021)

Some of the best links we picked up around the internet

By: Karen O'Hanlon Cohrt - Jul. 16, 2021

Top picks

Clinical news

  • Caribou Biosciences announces dosing of the first patient in a Phase 1 trial to evaluate CB-010, a CRISPR-edited allogeneic anti-CD19 CAR-T cell therapy for the treatment of relapsed or refractory B cell Non-hodgkin lymphoma. This is the first allogeneic CAR-T cell therapy with a PD-1 knockout to reach clinical stage and initial trial data is expected next year.

Industry

Research

  • Mutations in the fukutin-related protein (FKRP) gene result in a broad spectrum of muscular dystrophy (MD) phenotypes, including the severe Walker-Warburg syndrome (WWS). A team in the US has now developed a gene-editing approach that replaces the entire mutant open reading frame with the wild-type sequence to universally correct all FKRP mutations in patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells with encouraging in vitro and in vivo results upon implantation of the corrected stem cells into a murine disease model. The results were published in Cell Reports this week.

COVID-19

  • Australian researchers report reprogramming of CRISPR-Cas13b to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission by targeting accessible regions of spike and nucleocapsid transcripts with >98% silencing efficiency in virus-free models. The team also showed that further optimised and multiplexed Cas13b CRISPR RNAs could suppress SARS-CoV-2 replication in infected mammalian cells, including the B.1.1.7 (UK) variant. The findings were published in Nature Communications this week.
  • Researchers in Canada have developed a method for CRISPR-Cas12a-mediated gold nanoparticle aggregation that allows colorimetric detection of the N gene and E gene of SARS-CoV-2 in 45 min. The results were published in Chemical Communications this week.

Reviews

Regulation

  • A panel of experts from the WHO met this week and called on the world’s nations to impose stronger limits on human gene-editing experiments with a new set of guidelines. The new guidelines were heavily prompted by the case of He Jiankui (CRISPR babies). Read more in this New York Times writeup.

Podcasts and resources

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