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Frost & Sullivan Awards Precision Biosciences for Technology Innovation and Molecular Design Process in the Genomics Market
Date:5/13/2009

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on its recent analysis of the genomics market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Precision Biosciences with the 2009 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Innovation of the Year. The company's radical Directed Nuclease Editor(TM) (DNE) technology allows it to target and modify regions of a cell's genome with high sequence specificity.

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"At the core of the genomics solution developed by the company is an enzyme called 'I-CreI,' which is a member of a large family of DNA-modifying enzymes known as 'homing endonucleases,'" says Frost & Sullivan's Dr. Sudeep Basu. "The DNE technology is an amalgamation of core enzyme catalysis, high-specificity DNA targeting, computational molecular simulations for structural modeling, and rational mutagenesis to design a set of extremely specific 'molecular scissors' for the precise engineering of large genomes."

The DNE technology is so specific that it can accurately identify, target, and catalyze a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)-conversion reaction at a single, specific, user-defined position in the human genome. Such remarkable degree of specificity is uncommon in natural proteins and is an inherent property of the I-CreI enzyme, which can recognize and modify a distinctive 22 nucleotide DNA 'address' in the genome of certain algae.

"Precision successfully adapted this natural DNA editing system for use in biotechnology by modifying the DNA-recognition properties of I-CreI to redirect it to new DNA sites of interest," observes Dr. Basu. "This process has allowed it to address the 'needle in a haystack' problem that has long hindered the efforts to genetically engineer complex mammalian and plant cells."

The technology innovation in DNE successfully bridges the fields of intron homing, protein-DNA interactions, DNA recombination, molecular modeling, and molecular catalysis. The design and production pathway for the DNE is efficient and can be completed in less than 30 days - an impressive feat, considering the complexity of each step involved in this process.

"I-CreI's ability to specifically target selected regions of a genome can be combined with the introduction of synthesized sequence elements or DNA segments of interest," notes Dr. Basu. "The process of DNA recombination can then result in the production of transformed DNA elements, thereby modifying targeted genomes."

Such modifications have wide-ranging applications in diverse fields, including crop sciences; molecular therapeutics for genetic disorders; biofuel production; bioterrorism threat identification and countermeasures; generation of transgenic cell lines for producing biologics and diagnostics; and therapeutics for infectious diseases.

"Precision is truly honored to have received this esteemed award," said Matthew Kane, Precision's CEO. "This independent validation of our DNE technology by an objective, leading firm such as Frost & Sullivan is a terrific acknowledgement of the incredible efforts and achievements of Precision's scientific co-founders and inventors of the DNE technology."

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company (or individual) that has carried out new research, which has resulted in innovation(s) that have or are expected to bring significant contributions to the industry in terms of adoption, change, and competitive posture. This award recognizes the quality and depth of a company's research and development program as well as the vision and risk-taking that enabled it to undertake such an endeavor.

Frost & Sullivan's Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

About Precision Biosciences

Precision's mission is to utilize its engineered endonuclease technology to become the world leader in the field of genomic molecular biology. Precision's proprietary Directed Nuclease Editor(TM) (DNE) technology enables the production of custom genome editing enzymes that can insert, remove, modify, and regulate essentially any gene in mammalian or plant cells.

Precision BioSciences has already produced hundreds of custom endonucleases for partners and internal development that can precisely alter naturally occurring sequences within genomes. Precision has successfully partnered its DNE technology with several of the world's largest agbiotech firms and is internally developing applications in biological production and human therapeutics. For additional information, please visit www.precisionbiosciences.com.

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best in class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best practice models to drive the generation, evaluation, and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from more than 35 offices on six continents. To join our Growth Partnership, please visit http://www.frost.com.

    Contact:
    Jake Wengroff
    210.247.3806
    jake.wengroff@frost.com


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