NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Locus Biosciences, a developer of CRISPR-based precision antimicrobials, has partnered with IDbyDNA to create a companion diagnostic using that firm's next-generation sequencing platform, Explify.
The companion test will be deployed to help select patients and ensure a more successful clinical trial for Locus' LBx-PAO1 antimicrobial product. The antimicrobial uses CRISPR-Cas3 technology — which destroys DNA rather than editing and repairing it, as Cas9 enzyme-based technology does — to target Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a common cause of pneumonia and hospital-acquired infections.
The test is also expected to be used as a companion diagnostic for the antimicrobial product once it reaches the market.
The Explify platform identifies pathogens using DNA and RNA sequencing and the firm's proprietary DNA search technology, called Taxonomer. The company has also partnered with ARUP Laboratories to develop and commercialize metagenomics-based infectious disease tests, and recently launched Explify Respiratory, a next-generation sequencing-based test that can identify 200 different respiratory pathogens.
Locus Biosciences closed a $5 million convertible note in July and said it planned to use the funds to support the development of antimicrobial therapeutics based on CRISPR-Cas3 technology.