Mote Research is delighted to announce that it has secured an Innovate SMART Grant.  This grant will fund a £0.5M project to further develop and test Mote’s therapeutic genome editing technology.  Mote is pleased to be partnering with pHion Therapeutics whose advanced delivery technology will be evaluated in cultured cells and in animal models.  The grant will run from the end of 2019 for 18 months, and follows a previous Innovate Open award to Mote which saw the successful completion of proof-of-concept work.

An upcoming publication from a team at Stanford finds that most people have antibodies against the Cas9 protein that is central to CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing.  The researchers suggest that this is not surprising, given that most of us have been exposed to Staphylococcus and Streptococcus - the bacteria from which the Cas9 protein originates.  If these findings are confirmed, they raise doubts over the efficacy - or even safety - of using CRISPR as a therapeutic genome editing tool in humans.

Whilst CRISPR has many potential research and ex-vivo applications, factors such as this newly-reported immune response and the risks of off-target effects add to doubts over its use in humans.  Mote is developing an alternative editing tool which not only promises to be far more precise than CRISPR, but also avoids the use of bacterial proteins to which patients are likely to be sensitive.

We're delighted to announce that Mote has secured funding from Innovate UK.  This funding will help to fund the development and testing of Mote's genome editing technology into 2019.