FEATURED PHD STUDENT:
UMN startup ApoGen Biotech (founder CGE member Reuben Harris) receives $7mil to create drug for cancer treatment
"A startup company run by University of Minnesota scientists is developing a drug that could transform how cancer is treated.
ApoGen Biotechnologies is working on a method to block enzymes that induce mutations in tumors, allowing traditional treatments to be more effective. The startup just received $7 million and is planning to open a research facility in the next year."
Read the full article in the Minnesota Daily here.
The Center for Genome Engineering (CGE) is made up of faculty who share a common interest in developing methods for modifying DNA in living cells. Applications of CGE technology range from enabling gene discovery to providing therapeutic strategies to correct mutations underlying genetic disease. CGE is recognized worldwide for its expertise in genome engineering:
- The use of Sleeping Beauty as a means of DNA delivery was licensed by Intrexon to develop novel CAR T cell therapies.
- Two CGE faculty members, Brandon Moriarity and David Largaespada, used Sleeping Beauty as a mutagen to identify genes and pathways driving osteosarcoma development and metastasis.
- The TALEN technology, licensed by a French biotechnology company, was used to create a cancer immunotherapy; the first in-patient success was reported in late 2015: complete cancer remission in an infant who was otherwise incurable.
- Recombinetics, a start-up company led by a former CGE faculty member, used the UMN’s TALEN technology to create new breeds of dairy cattle.
- The first crop plants with new traits created by TALENs were planted last summer in mid-western fields
- CGE faculty members, Scott Dehm and Dan Voytas, used TALENs to dissect the role of genome rearrangements in prostate cancer.
- A new mechanism of MYC regulation was discovered by CGE faculty member, Anindya Bagchi, through the use of chromosome engineering.
- CGE faculty member, Reuben Harris, was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator for his work on mutagenic cytidine deaminases, studying specifically their roles in cancer and restricting the spread of the AIDS virus.
- The mechanism of gene targeting in human cells was elucidated by CGE faculty member Eric Hendrickson.
Collectively, CGE faculty advance the research and clinical objectives of the UMN’s medical enterprise, and CGE technologies are used by investigators around the world for basic and applied biological research.