With the use of CRISPR/Cas9 becoming more and more prevalent in gene therapies and research, much focus has turned toward how to deliver this genomic editing tool. Scientists are developing systems to fill the emptied capsid heads of bacteriophages with CRISPR's Cas enzyme and RNA strands, which would target only bacteria.
French biotech firm Eligo Bioscience recently completed its series A funding round and is utilizing this technology on disease-causing bacteria residing in the gut. Targeting the gut eliminates the need to use complicated delivery systems as the therapy can be ingested. This simple plan can be applied to the field of antibiotics or microbiome control.
With bacterial resistance to antibiotics being a major issue the healthcare industry is facing, it is exciting to see how CRISPR and genetic-editing tools can be used.
Doctors may one day prescribe pills filled with the CRISPR gene-editing system to seek and destroy the DNA of bad bugs that create disarray in the microbiome or are resistant to antibiotics. Eligo’s therapy only has to be delivered to the gut, meaning it could be ingested in a pill, and the firm says it doesn’t have to worry about off-target cuts from CRISPR in human DNA, since bacteriophages only infect bacteria.