Test will support patient selection and evaluation in clinical trials of precision antimicrobials
Research Triangle Park, N.C., and San Francisco, January 3, 2018 – Locus Biosciences, Inc., and IDbyDNA, Inc., announced today a partnership to develop a diagnostic test to identify the presence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) in patient samples. Based on IDbyDNA’s Explify™ Next Generation Sequencing clinical metagenomic technology platform, Locus intends to use this test for patient selection and evaluation in clinical trials of LBx-PA01, a CRISPR-based precision antimicrobial product targeting P. aeruginosa.
LBx-PA01 leverages CRISPR-Cas3 technology to precisely eliminate P. aeruginosa, including multidrug-resistant strains identified as a “Serious Threat” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in patients suffering from pneumonia and other diseases caused by this common pathogen. The companion diagnostic test developed through the Locus-IDbyDNA collaboration will allow Locus to quickly identify patients who are likely to benefit from treatment with LBx-PA01, increasing the probability of successful clinical trial results. Once LBx-PA01 reaches the market, the test will ensure that the medication will be given to patients with the greatest opportunity to benefit from it, improving patient outcomes and reducing the overall cost of treatment.
The Explify platform utilizes DNA and RNA sequencing and Taxonomer, IDbyDNA’s proprietary ultra-fast DNA search technology, to quickly identify pathogens by their genetic signatures. This novel approach can identify pathogens that are often missed by conventional methodologies.
“We are excited to collaborate with IDbyDNA, which has one of the world’s leading platforms for identifying specific microbes in patient samples,” said Paul Garofolo, Chief Executive Officer of Locus. “This test will enable Locus to precisely target LBx-PA01 to the patients who are most likely to benefit.”
“We are pleased that Locus selected IDbyDNA for this important development project,” said Guochun Liao, Chief Executive Officer of IDbyDNA. “Our technology is well-suited to the precise identification of Pseudomonas infection in target patient populations.”
According to the CDC, serious Pseudomonas infections – such as infections of the blood, skin, lungs, catheters and surgical sites—usually occur in hospitalized people and those with weakened immune systems and can lead to severe illness or death. Though these infections are commonly treated with antibiotics, many are becoming more difficult to treat due to increasing antibiotic resistance.
About Locus Biosciences
Locus Biosciences is an emerging biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of a next generation CRISPR-Cas platform for precision antimicrobials. Its novel approach takes advantage of an adaptive immune system present in many bacteria called the CRISPR-Cas system. Locus designs and creates novel CRISPR RNAs (guide RNAs) that direct the powerful Cas3 nuclease to target and kill bacteria cells by irreversibly destroying their DNA. This irreversible destruction of DNA is the primary differentiator between Cas3 and the more widely known Cas9 enzyme used for gene editing and repair.
As a global leader in metagenomics, microbial genetics, and data analytics, IDbyDNA has a mission of enabling the identification of any microbe, from any sample, anywhere in the world. Leveraging advanced genome science and cutting-edge search technologies, IDbyDNA is leading the transformation of infectious disease diagnosis. IDbyDNA develops and commercializes laboratory testing products that are more comprehensive and accurate to provide clinicians and their patients with more informative results than ever before, and in a clinically actionable turnaround time. For more information, please visit www.idbydna.com.