Inscripta picks up Solana to commercialize gene-editing tools | Digital Science

Inscripta will acquire Solana Biosciences to ramp up the commercialization of its gene-editing technology. The Boulder, Colorado-based biotech aims to broaden access to CRISPR by offering new enzymes for free, and to boost CRISPR research by outfitting scientists with a full suite of .

Solana was founded in 2017 by a group of former Illumina employees that includes Tom Rosso, who was vice president of operations at the sequencing giant. While at Illumina, this team created adaptable and scalable manufacturing operations, a skill set Inscripta wants to tap—it plans to expand its operations and to open a new site in San Diego.

Once the deal closes, Rosso will take over operations at Inscripta and head up its process development, technology transfer, manufacturing and operations teams. Financial details were not disclosed.

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Inscipta hopes that by removing CRISPR's cost barrier, it will help “usher in a new generation of gene editing and biotech discoveries,” said CEO Kevin Ness when Inscripta closed its series C.

“The cost is back-breaking for a lot of ideas and there are small companies standing on the sidelines because they don't have access [to CRISPR],” Ness said at the time.

But the impact of access to enzymes on research is unclear. Forbes reported in December that CRISPR pioneer George Church “says Harvard, Berkeley and Broad have made CRISPR Cas9 free for all researchers, and that tens of thousands of shipments have been made.” Nonetheless, offering enzymes for free is still surprising in a field where rivals have brought each other to court over the intellectual property rights to CRISPR.

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