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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."

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