Who owns the biggest biotech advance of the century? Geneticists in Boston may have found a way around a high-stakes patent dispute over one of the most significant biotechnology breakthroughs in recent years, a gene-editing tool called CRISPR.
Editas Medicine, a company at the forefront of developing the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR, has raised $120 million to create new treatments for conditions including cancer, retinal disease, and sickle-cell anemia.
Monday’s announcement reflects a surge of interest in CRISPR, a technology that is only a few years old. It also serves to clarify the goals and strategy of Editas, which was founded by some of the most prominent inventors of the gene-editing system, including Feng Zhang, a researcher at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.
With the Thursday launch of its AncestryHealth website, Ancestry continues to play Microsoft to 23andMe’s Apple. It may not be as innovative in the burgeoning field of consumer genetics, but it’s an able competitor nonetheless.
Mothers-to-be expecting to learn about chromosomal defects from a noninvasive prenatal test sometimes instead learn they may have cancer.
Biology professor Erin Lindquist was in the middle of class when she got the phone call telling her that a prenatal test had returned abnormal results.