Gene editing: Its true potential and the dangers ahead
CRISPR, a genome-editing technique, has generated a lot of excitement in the scientific community over the past few years. It relies on a sequence-specific guide RNA to direct a scissor-like, bacterial enzyme (Cas9) to just the right spot in the genome, where it can be used to cut out, replace, or repair disease-causing mutations. It’s the dawn of a new era for gene editing, and it’s hard to know where this breakthrough will lead.
This Cota Access session is about all things CRISPR, where it stands now and where the technology is headed. The panel includes:
- Kian Beyzavi, PhD (moderator) — Venture Partner at Cota Capital
- Ameena El-Bibany — Principal at ARTIS Ventures focusing an early-stage TechBio
- Daniel Dornbusch — CEO of Excision, a company that is developing CRISPR-based therapies to cure viral infectious diseases.
“As we’re generating a lot of data, we’re now also democratizing the analysis of that data. And that really leads into the realm of synthetic biology, which is bringing engineering principles into the life sciences world.”
- Ameena El-Bibany
The discussion dove into what exactly CRISPR does, why it's having its shining moment now, and the main use cases where it has the potential to radically change healthcare and improve people’s lives. Daniel spoke about how Excision is going straight to the source by removing the pro-viral DNA.
Ameena also highlighted how leaders in the space including investors need to be transparent, communicative, and observant of both the pros and cons of these types of technologies.