CFFT Makes First Major Award to Advance Gene Editing Research in CF

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics Inc. announced an award of up to $5M to Editas Medicine Inc. to advance potential gene editing approaches for cystic fibrosis.

| 2 min read

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics Inc. (CFFT) announced today an award of up to $5 million to Editas Medicine Inc. to advance gene editing approaches that could potentially be developed into novel cystic fibrosis therapies. CFFT is a nonprofit affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Editas, which is based in Cambridge, Mass., is a leader in the field of gene editing, a method used to change the DNA sequence of a cell. The company uses CRISPR/Cas9 technology -- a tool that works like an editing program, allowing researchers to cut out and revise, remove or repair DNA. Gene editing offers the potential to correct nearly every CF mutation.

The overall goal of this multiyear program with Editas is to create CRISPR/Cas9 therapies to modify or repair the CF gene, develop methods to deliver the editing components to cells in the lungs and test the combination of gene editing and delivery approaches in animals.

“There is an enormous amount that we need to learn about gene editing, and we're excited to get started,” said Preston W. Campbell, III, M.D., president and chief executive officer of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “This new program is a significant step in determining our overall gene editing approach for cystic fibrosis and the effectiveness of this technique in repairing the defective gene.”

In 2015, CFFT committed approximately $15 million in grants to nearly 50 scientific laboratories to fund CF research on emerging technologies such as gene editing, gene delivery and stem cell research. These new technologies will be explored further at a CFFT-sponsored research conference in June, which will bring together top scientists across all of these disciplines.

Read the Editas press release.

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