CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D., one of Intellia Therapeutics, Inc.'s scientific co-founders, was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology. Dr. Doudna shared the award with her research collaborator, Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier. This is the first time two women scientists have jointly won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Since the publication of the seminal 2012 Science paper, Dr. Doudna has been widely recognized by the global scientific community for her pioneering invention and many contributions to CRISPR/Cas9 technology. This paper showed for the first time the necessary and essential components for the CRISPR/Cas9 system and how it could be used as a versatile genome editing tool in any non-cellular and cellular setting. Acting as a pair of programmable molecular scissors, the CRISPR/Cas9 system uses sequence-specific RNA guides to recognize DNA targets and activate a protein known as Cas9 to cut the DNA. This activity is fundamental to editing DNA, and it serves as the genetic basis for a vast array of potential applications. For their CRISPR/Cas9 invention, Drs. Doudna and Charpentier have been awarded the Lurie Prize in the Biomedical Sciences, the Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research, the Dr. H. P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics, and the LUI Che Woo Prize for Welfare Betterment, among other recognitions.
"We congratulate Dr. Doudna and Dr. Charpentier on winning the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their revolutionary invention of CRISPR/Cas9," said Intellia President and Chief Executive Officer John Leonard, M.D. "Their CRISPR/Cas9 invention is already being applied in ways that are transforming science and medicine. Our team at Intellia is honored to be using this powerful tool in our work to develop potential cures for people suffering from conditions ranging from genetic disease to cancer. We are proud of Dr. Doudna and our other scientific co-founders, Drs. Rodolphe Barrangou, Eric Sontheimer, Luciano Marrafini and Derrick Rossi, who have each made, and continue to make, tremendous contributions to the genomics field."
About Jennifer DoudnaDr. Doudna is a faculty member of the Molecular and Cell Biology and Chemistry department at UC Berkeley, where she is the Li Ka Shing Chancellor's Professor of Biomedical Science, as well as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and a faculty scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Dr. Doudna also is a senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes and an adjunct professor of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at UC San Francisco. She was elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences in 2002 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003.
About CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing Treatments Genome editing is efficient, precise and scalable. CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing can make permanent, precisely targeted changes in patients' chromosomes and repair the underlying genetic mutation, whereas more traditional gene therapy typically involves introducing a non-permanent copy of a gene into patients' cells. These attributes of CRISPR/Cas9 provide a significant therapeutic edge over other gene therapy and costly earlier-generation genome editing technologies, such as zinc finger nucleases and transcription activator-like effector nucleases.
Intellia's proprietary CRISPR/Cas9 system could potentially address diseases with a single course of treatment because it permanently repairs the defective DNA. This represents a breakthrough improvement over current therapies, most of which require lifelong administration because they cannot correct underlying causes of the disease.
About Intellia TherapeuticsIntellia Therapeutics is a leading genome editing company, focused on the development of proprietary, potentially curative therapeutics using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Intellia believes the CRISPR/Cas9 technology has the potential to transform medicine by producing single-course therapeutics that permanently edit and correct disease-associated genes, and creating enhanced engineered cells that can treat oncological and immunological diseases. Intellia's combination of deep scientific, technical and clinical development experience, along with its leading intellectual property portfolio, puts it in a unique position to unlock broad therapeutic applications of the CRISPR/Cas9 technology and create new classes of therapeutic products. Learn more about Intellia Therapeutics and CRISPR/Cas9 at intelliatx.com. Follow us on Twitter @intelliatweets.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" of Intellia Therapeutics, Inc. ("Intellia") within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, express or implied statements regarding Intellia's ability to advance and expand the CRISPR/Cas9 technology to develop into human therapeutic products, as well as our CRISPR/Cas9 intellectual property portfolio; achieve stable or effective genome editing; the timing and potential achievement of milestones to advance our pipeline and grow as a company; and the anticipated contribution of the members of our board of directors and our executives, or our scientific founders, to our operations and progress.
Any forward-looking statements in this press release are based on management's current expectations and beliefs of future events, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: risks related to Intellia's ability to protect and maintain its intellectual property position; risks related to Intellia's relationship with third parties, including its licensors and licensees; risks related to the ability of its licensors to protect and maintain their intellectual property position; uncertainties related to the authorization, initiation and conduct of studies and other development requirements for its product candidates; the risk that any one or more of Intellia's CRISPR/Cas9 product candidates will not be successfully developed and commercialized; and the risk that the results of preclinical studies or clinical studies will not be predictive of future results in connection with future studies. For a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, and other important factors, any of which could cause Intellia's actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see the section entitled "Risk Factors" in Intellia's most recent annual report on Form 10-K as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in Intellia's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Intellia undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.
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