EvoNexus MedTech Venture, CRISPR QC’s Game-Changing Role in Gene Editing and Biotechnology
NEW YORK WEEKLY / JULY 28th, 2023 / Gene editing allows scientists to modify a cell to change its function while retaining its natural genome. The process fundamentally differs from genetic modification, which uses DNA from other species in unknown ways. With the discovery of CRISPR, editing a genome is approachable by virtually any scientist. Because of this, experts predict the global CRISPR gene editing market will be valued at $5.84 billion by 2028. It offers companies like CRISPR QC an opportunity to stake their claim in a rapidly growing space.
For co-founders Ross Bundy and Dr. Kiana Aran, the opportunity was more than just a business venture. Instead, it is about refining and scaling a technology that could change how healthcare treats a myriad of diseases and conditions.
“Whether or not this science is scalable has been one of the biggest concerns for our industry. Part of what CRISPR QC focuses on is increasing the scalability and accessibility of this technology when it comes to cell and gene editing therapies,” explains Bundy, who also serves as the company’s CEO.
Building CRISPR QC on a Foundation of Scientific Success
Before they launched CRISPR QC in 2022, Bundy and Aran had already made their mark in the biotech industry. Bundy previously headed Cardea Bio, a California-based biotech company that developed graphene-semiconductor technology.
He founded Cardea Bio with partner Brett Goldsmith, who now serves as the company’s CTO, in 2013. Before his decade-long career in biotech entrepreneurship, Bundy completed his undergraduate degree from the University of California San Diego and an MBA program with San Diego State.
During his tenure at Cardea Bio, Bundy first came across a similar technology brand founded by Kiana Aran and her business partner Michael Heltzen. A decorated veteran of the science and biotech sectors, Aran holds a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Rutgers University. She continued her postdoctoral studies at the University of California Berkeley with a focus on bioengineering.
When the future business partners first met, Aran’s team was focused on sensor manufacturing. It was an opportunity to combine the team’s shared expertise to form a new chapter of Cardea Bio that would last almost a decade.
But in 2022, Bundy and Aran recognized it was time to take the next step. They launched CRISPR QC that same year after successfully exiting Cardea Bio to Paragraf, a large semiconductor company, in 2023. The decision allowed them to separate the technology scale-up while building a core application—a strategic separation of foundry and application.
Setting the Standard in an Emergent Area of Biotech
Launching CRISPR QC did not mean Bundy and Aran were starting from scratch. The pair leveraged Cardea Bio’s CRISPR-Chip technology under an exclusive license, pairing it with Aran’s proprietary biosensor to offer real-time biophysical insights for a uniquely scalable solution. She initially invented the CRISPR-Chip in her work with Cardea Bio.
“It measures on an instrument exactly how any formulation of CRISPR will operate on any target DNA. It even mimics aspects of the cells a customer might experience when editing,” Aran explains. “Because the technique is both fast and quantitative, it empowers our customers to understand how each of the hundreds of steps to successfully edit changes the activity. Our customers can now optimize their gene editing for safety and reliability in a way never before possible.”
The technology enables them to apply a scalable approach focusing on a Lean Six Sigma approach. As Bundy points out, the technique is a robust methodology that uses scientific principles to improve cost, quality, and volume. The key to Lean Six Sigma concepts is evaluating how each step guides you to the desired outcome. Cell and gene therapy companies can optimize their processes and ensure they scale efficiently and economically while maintaining quality.
CRISPR QC is able to provide detailed insights for greater precision in standard CRISPR editing workflows at scale, resulting in better safety and higher quality control for a larger patient population. According to Aran, these therapeutic interventions will be more precise as a result, minimizing the risks to which conventional sequencing-related approaches are prone.
Research from Synthego suggests that the current cell editing process is only at 43 percent efficiency and requires seven attempts to achieve desired outcomes. The data proves how challenging optimization is for companies working in the space. But CRISPR QC is already overcoming those discouraging industry standards.
Looking Towards The Future of Genetic Technologies
Bundy and Aran aren’t the only ones who recognize the pioneering role that CRISPR QC has taken on in the gene editing space. As of 2023, the company has already established partnerships with several large pharmaceutical brands as a way to implement, refine, and expand its technology.
CRISPR QC’s proprietary biosensor and first-of-its-kind CRISPR analytics platform mean the company is pushing the limits of genetic technology in new ways. “We are very excited about this approach to gene editing and the personalized therapies that can come with it,” says Bundy.
He continues, “This is a very new form of science that can solve problems our customers don’t always know they have. But more importantly, we can help solve the known problems they haven’t been able to overcome yet. And that opens up a world of possibilities.”
SOURCE: Hector Morgan, New York Weekly
About CRISPR QC
CRISPR QC was created to assist scientists in gene therapy and agtech companies to advance their science and bring products to market quicker by providing predictive insights and quality control metrics.
We recognize the limitations of older technologies in providing practical, effective, and timely information for optimizing and resolving issues in CRISPR editing. To address this, we have developed our CRISPR Analytics Platform with the unique capabilities of CRISPR-Chip and through deliberate collaboration with CRISPR experts. Learn more about CRISPR QC and its groundbreaking advancements in the biotech sector at crisprqc.com.
EvoNexus is California’s leading nonprofit technology startup incubator located in San Diego. EvoNexus has successfully incubated over 260 startups with a survival rate of over 85%. Since the incubator’s formation in 2010, EvoNexus companies have secured over $1.6B in venture funding, $10B in pre-exit valuation, and had 50 acquisitions valued at over $2.1B. EvoNexus is supported by corporate partners, including some of the largest multinational corporations in the world. Learn more at evonexus.org.