BY OUR PLATFORMS
BY THERAPEUTIC AREA
21 April 2022
ZeClinics has recently started a new collaboration with the Institut de la Vision, led by Filippo del Bene, to test in zebrafish the most cutting-edge genetic modification technologies. This will enable the company to strengthen its platform of genetic solutions in order to offer pioneering genetic services to its clients.
In the past decades, zebrafish have been extensively used in basic research, allowing scientists to move crucial steps forwards in understanding the biological mechanisms underlying vertebrate development and function. More recently, thanks to the advent of novel genome editing approaches, zebrafish have gained popularity in the field of biomedical research, proving to be an extremely powerful genetic model.
Indeed, the CRISPR/Cas9 technology permits generating zebrafish lines to study the potential involvement of candidate genes in different pathogenic processes. This technology has demonstrated to be very efficient in generating loss-of-function alleles, making it possible to target any locus of interest with standardized protocols in a relatively short time. Nevertheless, more complex modifications including the targeted integration of point mutations or the precise insertion of longer DNA sequences by homologous recombination remain challenging in this model.
Over the past years, Filippo Del Bene’s lab has worked intensely to develop innovative tools based on the CRISPR/Cas9 technology, establishing pioneering methodologies that include Non-homologous-end-joining-based Knock-in; tissue-specific knock-out and base editing.
ZeClinics is one of the most experienced Zebrafish CRO working on genetically modified zebrafish. On one side, the company employs cutting-edge genome engineering approaches to generate zebrafish models, on the other, it works on internal R&D pipelines to refine and innovate genome editing technologies. Having a common interest and complementary skills, the two parties decided to join forces to develop breakthrough approaches to further boost the use of zebrafish in biomedical research, expanding the already rich portfolio of techniques available for this model.
The objective of this agreement is to develop innovative approaches enabling them to perform complex genetic modifications. The experimental strategies that will be employed in this collaboration include both the modification of available tools (to boost their efficiency or to increase their precision) and the generation of novel methodologies.
By working in close collaboration, both labs could contribute to overcome the current limitations of zebrafish gene-editing, permitting to establish efficient workflows to induce single nucleotide changes and targeted insertion of long or short DNA sequences. Most importantly, this work will not be addressed exclusively to the zebrafish community: their aim is to establish versatile translational tools that might be employed in gene therapy approaches.