Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on innovative solutions for the BioTech sector. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we want to share our insights with you. This time, you will discover 5 promising CRISPR startups.
CRISPR, short for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, is an adaptive immunity mechanism in bacteria, better known for its applications in gene editing. Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna shared the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. In this article, we’re showcasing 5 up-and-coming startups developing CRISPR-based applications to give you an overview of recent innovations in this field.
Heat Map: 5 Top CRISPR Startups
Using our StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering 1.379.000+ startups & scaleups globally, we looked at innovation in the field of biotechnology. For this research, we identified 172 relevant solutions and picked 5 to showcase below. These companies were chosen based on a data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and relevance of technology, among others. Depending on your specific criteria, the top picks might look entirely different.
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 startups & scaleups developing innovative CRISPR-based solutions. Moreover, the Heat Map reveals regions that observe a high startup activity and illustrates the geographic distribution of all 172 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.
Locus Biosciences – Precision Antibacterial
In comparison to other gene-editing technologies, CRISPR has better tunability and fewer off-target effects. Further, the technology enables precise gene manipulation and high-throughput screening. Startups are working on treatments that leverage CRISPR to develop precision antibacterials. These treatments target specific, pathogenic bacteria in a complex community of microbes.
Locus Biosciences uses CRISPR technology to develop precision antibacterial products. The startup’s CRISPR-Cas3 bacteriophage (crPhage) products kill target bacteria by irreversibly damaging their DNA. Bioinformatics and machine learning algorithms automate the crPhage design process. In addition to CRISPR engineering, the startup employs genome sequencing, high-throughput phage discovery, and phage manufacturing.
Aelian Biotechnology – Drug Screening
The drug screening process identifies targets for novel drug candidates. However, CRISPR screening increases the scale of the process to analyze the effects of a drug on thousands of genes simultaneously, thereby speeding up the process. Additionally, this helps identify genes and genetic sequences involved in multiple, complex pathways. The greater specificity of CRISPR further translates into a cleaner signal.
Austrian startup Aelian Biotechnology integrates CRISPR screening with single-cell sequencing to offer drug screening solutions. The startup maps transcriptomic changes from thousands of genetic perturbations at single-cell resolution. This enables phenotypic drug discovery (PDD) and explains unknown mechanisms. Moreover, the solution is applicable to a wide range of cell types.
SNIPR Biome – CRISPR-Based Medicine
The role of the microbiome in human health has come to the fore in recent years. However, the complexity of the microbial populations in the gut, and in other systems, makes it difficult to understand and manipulate them. CRISPR’s precision enables pharma startups to develop solutions that target specific bacteria while leaving others unharmed.
SNIPR Biome is a Danish startup that develops CRISPR-based medicine. The startup uses its proprietary CRISPR/Cas platform to offer next-generation antibiotics. These drugs carry CRISPR-Guided Vectors (CGV) that cause rapid destruction of bacterial genomes. The precise nature of the solution enables selective manipulations of complex microbial communities.
Caspr Biotech – Molecular Diagnostics
The highly sensitive and tunable nature of the CRISPR-based systems makes them amenable for use in diagnostics. Startups are using the technology to develop rapid diagnostics kits for use cases where the detection of foreign genomes is crucial. A particular focus of interest, especially in response to the coronavirus pandemic, is the development of diagnostics for emerging infectious diseases.
Caspr Biotech is a US-based startup that provides CRISPR-based molecular diagnostics. The startup’s platform leverages a range of technologies, including machine learning, bioinformatics, genome sequencing, and synthetic biology. This allows the startup to develop a portable, accurate, and rapid testing kit that identifies specific genetic sequences. The solution finds applications in healthcare, agriculture, industry, and biosecurity.
Hudson River Biotechnology – Crop Improvement
For the agriculture sector, startups use molecular breeding and gene editing techniques to produce crop varieties with desirable traits, such as high drought resistance or greater yield. However, genetically modified (GM) crops face regulatory hurdles in many countries. Since CRISPR-edited plants do not contain any foreign genes, they do not face stringent regulations like traditional GM crops.
Dutch startup Hudson River Biotechnology works on molecular plant breeding solutions for crop improvement. TiGER, the startup’s proprietary workflow, is an acronym for and enables target identification, guide selection, energy into cells, and regeneration. The solution modifies unique sites in the crop genome with targeted mutagenesis to develop specific traits.
What About The Other 167 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence that enables you to achieve your goals faster. The 5 CRISPR startups showcased above are promising examples out of 172 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria, get in touch.