Ori Biotech Raises $30 Million in Series A Financing to Advance Innovation in Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturing

LONDON and WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Oct. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Ori Biotech Ltd (Ori), a leading innovator in cell and gene therapy (CGT) manufacturing, today announced the successful close of a $30 million Series A financing round, bringing the company’s total funding to date to $41 million. The new funding will be used to help bring Ori’s innovative manufacturing platform to the market. The Ori platform delivers scalable solutions to flexibly address the critical clinical and commercial manufacturing needs of CGT developers.

The Series A investor syndicate was led by the experienced life sciences investment team at Northpond Ventures, a leading global science, medical, and technology-driven venture fund, alongside Octopus Ventures, a leading European venture fund. Northpond and Octopus invested alongside significant support from Ori’s existing institutional investors, Amadeus Capital Partners, Delin Ventures, and Kindred Capital.

“Closing a significant Series A round, during these uncertain

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Breakthrough discovery in gene causing severe nerve conditions — ScienceDaily

Researchers have made a breakthrough genetic discovery into the cause of a spectrum of severe neurological conditions.

A research study, led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) and gracing the cover of and published in the October edition of Human Mutation, found two new mutations in the KIF1A gene cause rare nerve disorders.

MCRI researcher Dr Simranpreet Kaur said mutations in the KIF1A gene caused ‘traffic jams’ in brain cells, called neurons, triggering a devastating range of progressive brain disorders. KIF1A-Associated Neurological Disorders (KAND) affects about 300 children worldwide.

“KAND symptoms often appear at birth or early childhood, have varying severity and can result in death within five years of life. Because clinical features overlap with other neurological disorders, children can be misdiagnosed or remain undiagnosed for a long period of time,” she said.

“Our study will lead to more diagnoses by expanding the mutation pool further, finding

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Nobel laureate Jennifer Doudna: Gene editing could make a better future

UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism facilitated a video news conference and Q&A session with UC Berkeley’s Nobel Prize winner, Jennifer Doudna, this morning. Watch it here. (UC Berkeley video)

Rapid advances in gene-editing technology have a transformative potential to help cure disease and feed the world, but scientists must assure that the tools are not used for unethical purposes, new UC Berkeley Nobel laureate Jennifer Doudna told reporters today.

Following this morning’s announcement that she had won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Doudna detailed the promise of the CRISPR-cas9 technology at a Berkeley press conference, held remotely during the coronavirus pandemic and livestreamed for a global audience. She hailed the collaboration of her colleagues, both at Berkeley and internationally, for the work that won the world’s highest honor in science.

Her research began, and has continued, “with the vision of bringing genome editing to bear on problems facing

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There’s a gene for detecting that fishy smell, olfactory GWAS shows — ScienceDaily

For many people, the smell of fish is rather strong and unpleasant. But some people carry a mutation in a particular gene that makes that fish odor less intense, reports a paper publishing October 8 in the journal Current Biology. The study, which is the largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) of olfactory genes in humans involving a sniff test and looked at over 9,000 people from Iceland, also shows that people vary in their ability to discern the smell of licorice and cinnamon.

“We discovered sequence variants that influence how we perceive and describe fish, licorice, and cinnamon odors,” said Rosa Gisladottir of deCODE Genetics in Reykjavik, Iceland. “Since our sense of smell is very important for the perception of flavor, these variants likely influence whether we like food containing these odors.”

Researchers have known that people perceive odors based on olfactory receptors encoded by 855 olfactory genes. But

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What is CRISPR? A close look at the gene editing technology that won the Chemistry Nobel prize

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences yesterday awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna for their work on CRISPR, a method of genome editing.

A genome is the full set of genetic “instructions” that determine how an organism will develop. Using CRISPR, researchers can cut up DNA in an organism’s genome and edit its sequence.

CRISPR technology is a powerhouse for basic research and is also changing the world we live in. There are thousands of research papers published every year on its various applications.

These include accelerating research into cancers, mental illness, potential animal to human organ transplants, better food production, eliminating malaria-carrying mosquitoes and saving animals from disease.

Charpentier is the director at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, Germany and Doudna is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Both played a crucial role in demonstrating how

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RTL1 gene a likely culprit behind temple and Kagami-Ogata syndromes — ScienceDaily

Temple and Kagami-Ogata syndromes are serious genetic conditions that can lead to a variety of health problems with neonatal lethality, and in the case of Temple syndrome, severe growth problems occur. However, the genetic mechanisms of these illnesses are not well understood. But now, researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) have identified a gene that appears to be responsible for symptoms of both conditions, with important implications for human evolutionary genetics.

In a study published last month in Development the research team has revealed that deficiency and overproduction of Retrotransposon Gag like 1 (Rtl1), which is a mouse ortholog of the human RTL1 gene, is significantly associated with muscle symptoms in models of Temple and Kagami-Ogata syndromes, respectively.

Temple and Kagami-Ogata syndromes are characterized by unique postnatal muscle-related symptoms and prenatal placental problems. Although Rtl1 has previously been found to be responsible for prenatal placental malformations in mouse

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CRISPR gene editing pioneers win the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

CRISPR gene editing promises to revolutionize medical science, and two of its pioneers are getting a prestigious award for their efforts. Emmanuelle Charpentier (shown at left) and Jennifer Doudna (right) have received the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their roles in discovering the CRISPR/Cas9 “genetic scissors” used to cut DNA. Charpentier found the key tracrRNA molecule that bacteria use to cut and disable viruses, and collaborated with RNA expert Doudna to eventually ‘reprogram’ the scissors to cut any DNA molecule at a specific point, making the gene editing method viable.

As with some scientific discoveries, there’s some controversy. While the team including Charpentier and Doudna published its work in June 2012, seven months before a Broad Institute-led group released its own findings, it didn’t include certain aspects Broad used when it started patenting gene editing methods in 2014. That led to a patent battle that’s still raging today, with

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Creators of gene ‘scissors’ clinch Nobel as women sweep chemistry

STOCKHOLM/BERLIN (Reuters) – Two women scientists won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday for creating genetic ‘scissors’ that can rewrite the code of life, contributing to new cancer therapies and holding out the prospect of curing hereditary diseases.

FILE PHOTO: French microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier (L) and professor Jennifer Doudna of the U.S. pose for the media during a visit to a painting exhibition by children about the genome, at the San Francisco park in Oviedo, SPAIN, October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Eloy Alonso

Emmanuelle Charpentier, who is French, and American Jennifer Doudna share the 10 million Swedish crown ($1.1 million) prize for developing the CRISPR/Cas9 tool to edit the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with precision.

“The ability to cut the DNA where you want has revolutionized the life sciences,” Pernilla Wittung Stafshede of the Swedish Academy of Sciences told an award ceremony.


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UC Berkeley professor, French scientist win Nobel Prize in chemistry for work on gene editing

Emmanuelle Charpentier, left, and Jennifer A. Doudna, who together won the Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for their work on the CRISPR gene-editing tool. <span class="copyright">(Susan Walsh/ Associated Press)</span>
Emmanuelle Charpentier, left, and Jennifer A. Doudna, who together won the Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for their work on the CRISPR gene-editing tool. (Susan Walsh/ Associated Press)

The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded Wednesday to UC Berkeley biochemist Jennifer A. Doudna and French scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier for their pioneering work on the so-called CRISPR tool for gene editing, a discovery that holds out the possibility of curing genetic diseases.

The Nobel Committee said the two women’s work on developing the CRISPR method of gene editing, likened to an elegant pair of “molecular scissors,” had transformed the life sciences by allowing scientists to target specific sequences on the human genome.

This could, for example, allow doctors to fix cells with sickle-cell anemia. It also paves the way for such developments as plants and livestock with greater disease resistance and safer transplants of animal organs into humans.

“There is enormous

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Jennifer Doudna’s New Gene Editing Company Launches With A $20 Million Round To Develop Genetic Medicines

What if you had a tool to change the genetic instructions that cause disease?

That’s what San Francisco-based Scribe Therapeutics hopes to do with its next-generation platform for gene editing.

Today, the company announced a collaboration with Biogen to develop CRISPR-based genetic medicines for neurological diseases, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

CRISPR, you may remember, is a powerful tool used to control the genes (or genetic instructions) that are active in plants, animals, and even humans. With CRISPR gene editing, researchers can “silence” undesirable traits, and, potentially, add desirable traits. 

Over the past few years, CRISPR gene editing has been used to reduce the severity of genetic deafness and treat sickle-cell anemia in mice. Today, CRISPR is considered

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