Pairwise Shares Advantages of Company-Developed Fulcrum™ Platform
Recent U.S. Patent and Trademark Notices of Allowance for Proprietary CRISPR Tools Validate Company Leadership in Delivering Differentiated Plant Genetics
Durham, N.C., (February 1, 2024) – Pairwise, a technology company pioneering genetics-based innovation in food and agriculture, shares multiple recent advances in its Fulcrum™ Platform. The company’s industry-leading expertise in applying CRISPR technology to plant breeding has significantly advanced with multiple technical validations, including new notices of patent allowance, new enzymes, and new applications.
“Most genomic variation that occurs in nature is more complicated than if a particular gene is ‘on’ or ‘off.’ Effectively and efficiently finding the optimal balance between ‘on’ and ‘off’ is critical to optimizing new traits in plants. Pairwise creates and uses advanced CRISPR-based tools like base editing and templated editing to create the desired level of genetic optimization,” said Ryan Bartlett, Pairwise Chief Technology Officer. A complete suite of these novel technologies and proprietary tools for applying CRISPR technology make up the Fulcrum Platform, and enable Pairwise to unlock unique, commercially viable products with differentiated plant genetics.
As an important demonstration of the Pairwise Fulcrum Platform, the company introduced the first CRISPR-edited food to the food service channel and a retail test market in North America. In addition, in its first collaboration with Bayer, Pairwise delivered 27 novel traits to Bayer’s pipeline for corn, soy, wheat, and canola. The companies’ second collaboration is focused on accelerating innovation in climate-friendly short-stature corn.
Organizations looking to develop differentiated, CRISPR-edited products, including crops, can partner in multiple ways to leverage this comprehensive suite of tools. Partners can license a turnkey toolbox leveraging the Fulcrum Platform without having to stand up their own CRISPR-based editing programs. This lowers a company’s required investment and improves speed-to-market, versus the approach of licensing tools that have only been tested in laboratory settings.
“Because of our unique ability to tune and customize CRISPR applications in plant breeding, Pairwise has a well-established track record of creating and delivering gene editing traits for partners through our end-to-end solutions,” said Ian Miller, Pairwise Chief Development Officer. “Anchored by our Fulcrum Platform and deep technical and agronomic expertise in more than 60 crops, we’re excited to be at the vanguard of making valuable changes to plant genetics quickly and successfully. Given the challenge of climate change, the world needs accelerated innovation in food and agricultural products, supply chains, and production systems.”
At a deeper level, there are two important company-developed technologies which enable Pairwise’s Fulcrum Platform: REDRAW™ and SHARC™ tools. REDRAW, or RNA encoded DNA replacement of alleles with CRISPR, is a precise, templated editing toolbox that can make any type of small edit at CRISPR-targeted sites. This, alongside Pairwise’s proprietary base editing and base diversification tools, enables innovators to “tune” CRISPR edits with great precision. Another benefit of REDRAW is accessing a wider range of genetic variation, which is key to creating new, distinctive plant varieties much faster and more effectively than conventional breeding.
SHARC includes a proprietary enzyme that works well for cutting, base editing, and REDRAW editing, and is the foundation for a proprietary and comprehensive genome editing toolbox. Because of their novel performance characteristics, both SHARC and REDRAW hold huge potential not only for food and agriculture, but also in fields like medicine and other forward-thinking industries that are leveraging CRISPR.
This month, Pairwise received a new Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its REDRAW tool, adding to the growing list of other recent USPTO allowances for improved base editors and other templated editing innovations received by Pairwise.
Recently, Pairwise also announced nine new confirmed exemptions from USDA. “As we continue to make significant advances in our R&D pipeline, such as recent progress in developing seedless, thornless, and higher-yielding traits in berries, these regulatory and IP milestones serve as an important validation of the role CRISPR will play in addressing the ongoing challenges of the global food system,” said Miller.
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Pairwise is pioneering the application of CRISPR technology in food and agriculture. The company brings together leaders in agriculture, technology, and consumer foods to harness the transformative potential of new genomics technologies to create innovative new products. Pairwise is working to develop new varieties of crops, and to partner with organizations that seek to deliver innovation across the plant-based economy. Backed by industry leading investors Deerfield, Aliment Capital, Leaps by Bayer, and Temasek, Pairwise raised $90 million in a successful series B funding round in February 2021, bringing total fundraising to $115 million. The company was founded by Chief Executive Officer Tom Adams and Chief Business Officer Haven Baker, with scientific co-founders J. Keith Joung, Lead Translator at Arena BioWorks; David Liu, Director of the Merkin Institute of Transformative Technologies in Healthcare, and Vice-Chair of the Faculty at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT; and Feng Zhang, McGovern Investigator and a professor at MIT. For more information, visit Pairwise.com, and learn more about the differentiating Pairwise Fulcrum™ platform here.
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