Article | December 16, 2016

CRISPR: Changing The Pace Of BioPharma R&D

Source: Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.

By Anna Quinlan


“Everything is possible with CRISPR. I’m not kidding.” Reacting to highly successful CRISPR gene drive experiments that broke all rules of Mendelian genetics and allowed a mutation to sweep a Drosophila population in a single generation (Hesman Saey 2015), Hugo Bellen, a geneticist at Baylor University, summed up a sentiment shared by many. The speed, low cost, and transferability of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to almost any species is redefining what is possible in R&D

On a monthly basis, more and more new applications for CRISPR are published. From creating complex, multigene disease models and whole-genome knockout screens in less than two months to creating inducible systems and generating Cas9 variants that act as epigenetic regulators, CRISPR is not only accelerating R&D.  It appears to be emerging as part of the solution to curbing the ever-increasing cost of drug development and reducing late-stage failure rates.