Locus Biosciences is a biotechnology company headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina and was founded in 2015 by Charles Gersbach, Chase Beisel, Dave Ousterout, Nick Taylor, Paul Garofolo, and Rodolphe Barrangou.
Locus Biosciences develops CRISPR-engineered phage therapeutics, and uses Type I CRISPR-Cas3 system to destroy the DNA of target bacteria cells. Locus is the exclusive global licensee of the foundational CRISPR-Cas3 patent estate from North Carolina State University and Duke University. Although CRISPR-Cas9 is being used by a variety of companies to treat human diseases, Locus is the only company using CRISPR-Cas3 to tackle the problem of multidrug-resistant bacteria.
Locus's CRISPR-Cas3-engineered phage ("crPhage") platform is notable because it combines the safety profile of phages with the efficacy advantage of CRISPR. crPhage products kill target bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant superbugs, while leaving the many species of good bacteria in the body unharmed. The acquisition of EpiBiome's automation platform helps Locus develop these crPhage products to treat antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections and precisely edit the microbiome more rapidly.
On November 14, 2017 Locus Biosciences completed their series A funding round with $19 million in funding from Artis Ventures (lead investor), Starlight Ventures, North Carolina Biotechnology Center, and Abstract Ventures.
Acquisition of phage discovery platform
Locus Biosciences announced its acquisition of EpiBiome's high-throughput bacteriophage ("phage") discovery platform.
Series A - $19m
Locus closed $19m in series A funding. Led by Artis Ventures with backup from Tencent Holdings, Abstract Ventures and the North Carolina Biotechnology Centre, the first round fundraising is intended to fund through an IND filing and first clinical trial.
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- Clinical researchBranch of medical science
- MicrobiologyStudy of microscopic organisms
- Personalized medicineMedical procedure that separates patients into different groups
- CRISPR-Cas3CRISPR-Cas3 is a CRISPR protein complex that degrades foreign DNA. It uses an RNA guided protein complex called Cascade to recognize the target DNA sequence and the associated Cas3 protein to degrade the targeted sequence.
- BacteriophageVirus that infects and replicates within bacteria