September 17, 2020 — Jumpcode Genomics — a genome technology company founded by industry veterans in 2016 focused on improving the understanding of human disease—today exited stealth mode and announced the commercial launch of its CRISPRclean™ technology. Initially available via three kits, CRISPRclean unlocks the power of next generation sequencing (NGS) by improving sensitivity, reducing costs, and simplifying workflows. The company also announced that it has strengthened its leadership team with the addition of Yaron Hakak, PhD, as CEO. In addition, the company has added new advisors, including Dr. Stanley Nelson, vice chairman of Human Genetics at UCLA as consulting chief scientist, and Gary Schroth, PhD, vice president and distinguished scientist at Illumina, as a member of the company’s scientific advisory board.
CRISPRclean™ technology is based on the in vitro utilization of the CRISPR/Cas system to cleave and physically remove nucleic acid sequences pre- or post-NGS library preparation. This enables researchers to remove overabundant and uninformative sequences to allow discovery and detection of molecules previously undetectable (the needles). Like polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the technology broadly applies to many molecular biology techniques, particularly sequencing technologies.
Initial research applications focus on ribosomal RNA depletion, single cell analysis and repeat removal for whole genome sequencing. Additionally, Jumpcode Genomics is pursuing clinical applications, including the removal of human host molecules for a universal pathogen test and depletion of wild type alleles for somatic mutation detection in oncology. The technology seamlessly integrates into existing workflows and is agnostic to library preparation methods and sequencing platforms.
“We aim to revolutionize the practice of molecular biology with our technology and to drive better results for researchers today and ultimately patients tomorrow,” said Hakak, CEO of Jumpcode Genomics. “When researchers perform NGS on biological samples, most molecules sequenced are uninformative, which results in a ‘needle in a haystack’ problem. CRISPRclean™ solves this problem by simply removing the haystack.”
The expansion of the leadership team and scientific advisory board enables Jumpcode Genomics to commercialize its technology and strengthen direct access to thought leaders in the scientific community.
- Yaron Hakak, chief executive officer: A biotech industry veteran, Hakak recently served as director of business development at Illumina, where he supported the company’s research and applied markets for NGS. Prior to Illumina, he was director of business development at Affymetrix, focused on corporate activities related to its genomics and proteomic product portfolios. Dr. Hakak also held positions at Arena Pharmaceuticals, where he managed genomics research for target identification and led discovery biology programs.
- Dr. Stanley Nelson, chief scientist: Nelson is a physician-scientist specializing in the development and application of genomic tools to facilitate gene discovery and molecular diagnostics for rare diseases, with a special interest in muscular dystrophy with more than 300 research publications. He completed postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University in genomics. He is professor of human genetics, pediatrics, neurology and pathology and laboratory medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of the California Center for Rare Diseases. Nelson is co-director of the Center for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which is a multi-investigator program encompassing graduate and undergraduate education, basic and translational research, clinical care, and clinical trials for Duchenne at UCLA. He is also a founder and co-director of the Clinical Genomics Center, which develops and implements clinical genomic testing and established clinical exome sequencing at UCLA.
- Gary Schroth, PhD, vice president, Illumina: Schroth joins the Jumpcode Genomics Scientific Advisory Board. He obtained his doctorate in biochemistry from UC Davis. Before Illumina he held research and development positions at Solexa, Applied Biosystems, Genelabs Technologies and Gen-Probe. Over the course of his career, Schroth has published more than 95 peer-reviewed research papers and holds 17 US patents. His main research interests are in the areas of gene expression analysis, epigenetics, cancer, and genomics technologies.