The zebrafish, commonly found in aquariums, is widely tapped in drug development to understand disease mechanisms.
The advent of CRISPR gene editing has given researchers more flexibility in developing disease models, thanks to its ability to create gene-edited zebrafish variants.
To that end, the privately-held company ZeClinics (Barcelona) is using CRISPR-based techniques to make unique zebrafish variants. The company recently announced a licensing agreement with privately-owned ERS Genomics (Dublin), which holds intellectual property related to the popular genome-editing method known as CRISPR-Cas9.
“By providing [ZeClinics] access to this foundational CRISPR/Cas9 intellectual property, ZeClinics is able to continue to provide valuable preclinical models and services for drug discovery and development,” said Eric Rhodes, CEO of ERS Genomics, in a statement.
In particular, the collaboration could help ZeClinics “streamline functional genomic processes” and “provide insights into biologically relevant knowledge on diseases,” said ZeClinics CEO Simone Calzolari in prepared remarks. “The license from ERS expands our CRISPR IP portfolio and, alongside the license from The Broad Institute, allows us to push ahead with the application of this advanced technology, ultimately increasing the validity and potency of zebrafish models for the drug discovery process.”