Research Triangle Park, N.C. – BioResource International, Inc. (BRI), a global biotechnology company specializing in the research, development and manufacture of high-performance enzyme feed additives for optimizing animal nutrition and gut health, has licensed gene editing technology from The Broad Institute and Pioneer Hi-Bred International.
CRISPR (Clustered, Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) paired with the Cas9 protein is a powerful and specific DNA-cutting tool, which allows researchers to manipulate DNA by either inserting or deleting targeted sequences in genomes, thereby encoding specific traits. Use of the technology can speed up the development of bacterial strains used to produce feed enzymes, replacing processes that once took several months to complete. CRISPR-Cas9 is highly efficient compared to traditional methods that rely on microbiological screening of desired traits. Dr. Kelly Broccio, R&D Manager at BRI, sees great promise for the future of the company’s portfolio, stating, “By leveraging the efficiency and specificity of CRISPR technology, we can rapidly develop next generation enzyme production strains, allowing BRI to ultimately increase the speed of developing innovative products.”
BRI’s agreement with the Broad Institute licenses CRISPR-Cas9 for use in the development of products that promote animal health and nutrition. The Broad Institute has licensed the technology non-exclusively and with the prohibition of use for gene drives, sterile seeds, or tobacco products for human use, upholding their ethical restrictions in agricultural use. BRI intends to leverage CRISPR-Cas9 technologies to accelerate the development and expression of next-generation enzymes for animal health and nutrition. As animal feed additives, enzymes help accelerate chemical processes that liberate nutrients from feed, improving the productivity of livestock. When supplemented to feed, enzymes help break down hard-to-digest materials and increase the availability of energy, protein and other nutrients, thereby improving animal growth performance, feed digestibility and nutrient utilization.
As the demand for meat and eggs rises globally, companies such as BRI are working to find sustainable and safe solutions for producers. Harnessing CRISPR for rapid strain development expands the growing arsenal of biotechnological tools at BRI’s disposal. Dr. Giles Shih, CEO at BRI, says, “We are excited about the opportunity of using the latest CRISPR-Cas9 tools to accelerate the development of our innovative enzymes and feed additive products for animal health and nutrition.”