CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 22, 2015—Intellia Therapeutics, founded to develop curative medicines utilizing CRISPR/Cas9 for gene editing and repair, announced today that Jennifer Doudna, PhD, and Derrick Rossi, PhD, will join Intellia as founding members and scientific advisors of the Company.
Dr. Doudna’s groundbreaking innovations relating to CRISPR/Cas9 technology were pivotal in demonstrating its potential as a therapeutic platform. Dr. Doudna continues to lead the research of, and improvements to, the CRISPR system and its applications. Dr. Rossi is a leader in the field of molecular and cellular biology, most notably as it pertains to hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). He led the discovery of modified RNA for therapeutic applications, and has pioneered the use of CRISPR/Cas9 in human HSCs for therapeutic translation.
“We are delighted to add such scientific pioneers as Jennifer and Derrick to the founding team of Intellia,” said Nessan Bermingham, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Intellia. “Jennifer’s innovations relating to the CRISPR/Cas9 system have been instrumental to the genetics field and have catalyzed a new therapeutic paradigm. Derrick is a renowned leader in hematopoietic stem cells, RNA and the use of CRISPR/Cas9 ex vivo. Collectively their insights and expertise will be invaluable to our core mission as we develop curative medicines for patients with genetically based diseases.”
“The opportunity to work with the team at Intellia enables me to realize the goal of translating our scientific understanding of disease biology, gene editing and targeted repair using CRISPR/Cas9 into therapies for debilitating diseases,” said Dr. Rossi. “Intellia is very well positioned to realize this goal and is focused on bringing safe, and efficacious medicines to patients.”
About Dr. Jennifer Doudna
Dr. Doudna, in collaboration with Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, led the team that developed the application of CRISPR/Cas9 and its use as a tool for genome engineering, including editing and repair, in eukaryotes and other organisms. In recognition of this work, they were awarded the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, as well as the 2014 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research. Intellia holds an exclusive license to Dr. Doudna’s intellectual property in the human therapeutics field through Caribou Biosciences. Caribou, founded by Dr. Doudna in 2011, was the first company in the CRISPR space.
Dr. Doudna’s scientific contributions in the biochemistry and molecular biology fields have led to her election to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Among her many awards, Dr. Doudna is the recipient of the 2014 Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences from the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. Her contributions to science and research led Time magazine to name her to its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2015.
Dr. Doudna is a member of the departments of Molecular and Cell Biology and Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Prior to joining the UC Berkeley faculty in 2002, Dr. Doudna served as a member of the Yale University faculty for eight years, during which time she was promoted to Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. Dr. Doudna earned a B.A. in Biochemistry from Pomona College and a PhD in Biochemistry from Harvard University.
About Dr. Derrick Rossi
In 2010, Dr. Rossi discovered a groundbreaking method to reprogram skin cells into stem cells utilizing messenger molecules. His novel technique eliminated the risk of cancer posed by previous methods and sparked a push to develop cellular and molecular therapeutic products using the technologies he developed. More recently, Dr. Rossi and colleagues again innovated in the stem cell field by applying the CRISPR/Cas9 system to generate hematopoietic stem cells resistant to HIV infection. Dr. Rossi continues to study CRISPR for application in human therapeutics.
Dr. Rossi’s work has been recognized by multiple awards, including the Pathways to Independence award from the NIH and a Robertson Investigator award from the New York Stem Cell Foundation. Time magazine cited Dr. Rossi’s discovery of modified-mRNA reprogramming as one of the top ten medical breakthroughs of 2010, and named him as one of “People Who Mattered” in 2010, and as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world in 2011.
Dr. Rossi is an Associate Professor in the Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology Department at Harvard Medical School, and Harvard University. He is an investigator in the Program in Cellular Molecular Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he holds a Boston Children’s Hospital Pediatrics Chair. Dr. Rossi is also a principal faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. Dr. Rossi received B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Toronto in Canada, and his PhD from the University of Helsinki in Finland. He trained with Dr. Irving Weissman at Stanford University prior to being recruited to Harvard in 2007.
About Intellia Therapeutics
Intellia Therapeutics was formed in 2014 to develop curative medicines based on the CRISPR-Cas9 technology. Intellia holds exclusive access to one of the broadest intellectual property platforms available for the therapeutic use of CRISPR-Cas9. Intellia is backed by Atlas Venture and Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. In January of this year, Intellia Therapeutics announced a large partnering deal with Novartis for CAR-T and HSC applications of the technology. For more information, please visit intelliatx.com.