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Press Releases

CELLECTA, INC. SBIR Grant Work Finds Way to Increase CRISPR Effectiveness for Genetic Screens
April 12, 2016 (PRNewswire)
Cellecta, Inc. developed an approach that improves CRISPR single-guide RNA (sgRNA) designs with the successful completion of its NIH Phase I SBIR grant “CRISPR/Cas9 Genome-Wide sgRNA Library Screening Platform.” The results move forward Cellecta’s goal of developing a library of validated CRISPR guide RNA sequences that can be used to improve the efficiency of CRISPR genome-wide genetic knockout screens.
Dr. Donato Tedesco, senior scientist at Cellecta and the lead scientist on this study expressed his excitement about the findings by noting that, “The results of this work are actually very practically useful since they provide an approach to improve the effectiveness of any sgRNA regardless of the gene it targets. A few modifications of the constant region of the sgRNA produce a marked increase in the rate of CRISPR-mediated gene knockout and significantly increase the strength of the data signal in a genetic screen.”

CELLECTA, INC. Announces Launch of Human Whole Genome CRISPR Knockout Library
July 31, 2015 (PRNewswire)
Cellecta announced the release of its pooled CRISPR Guide RNA (sgRNA or gRNA) Knockout Library targeting nearly all human protein coding genes. This makes it the first company to produce a lentiviral based CRISPR library that targets nearly all of the almost 20,000 protein encoding genes in the human genome. The CRISPR Human Genome Knockout Library, as it is called, was designed as three modules each targeting approximately a third of the human genome with eight sgRNAs per gene, which is a higher number than most other libraries use. In addition, the sgRNAs in Cellecta’s library incorporate improved design features that increase their effectiveness and they have been filtered to ensure they are unique for each gene target to minimize false positive results.  Download PDF>

CELLECTA, INC. Receives NIH SBIR Grant to Develop Validated CRISPR Knockout Library of Guide RNA (sgRNA) Sequences
July 17, 2015 (PRNewswire)
Cellecta announces the receipt of Phase I SBIR grant funds from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to further its CRISPR-mediated genome-editing program. The goal of the “CRISPR/Cas9 Genome-Wide sgRNA Library Screening Platform” grant is to develop a validated set of reagents that can be used for specific targeted disruption of all human and mouse genes. This resource will provide a powerful tool for researchers to identify, in a single experiment, the genes that are important for cell growth, drug effectiveness, or other biological responses and has wide implications in the discovery of novel drug targets and identifying drug mechanisms.

CELLECTA, INC. Receives Second Phase Contract from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to Identify Lethal Gene Combinations in Cancer Cell Models
October 23, 2012 (PRWeb)
Cellecta received a Phase II SBIR contract from the National Cancer Institute to identify combinations of DNA damage and repair genes that are essential for cancer cells. There is great interest in these lethal gene combinations for drug development since therapies targeting multiple genes simultaneously can be much more effective at minimizing acquired resistance to a treatment over time. However, identification of these pairs is problematic using standard serial assays. Cellecta’s pooled RNAi screening solves this problem.

CELLECTA, INC. Receives Phase II NIH SBIR Grant to Screen for Therapeutic Targets for Blood Cancers
September 22, 2011 (PRWeb)
Cellecta receives a two-year $1.85M Phase II NIH/NCI SBIR grant to identify novel drug targets which interact with small molecules specifically lethal to hematopoietic cells. It is anticipated that this study will provide a basis to develop therapeutic treatments for blood cancers.

Addgene Helps Distribute Cellecta’s DECIPHER shRNA Libraries to the Academic Community
May 17, 2011 (PRLog)
In association with the DECIPHER Project, the non-profit plasmid repository Addgene is now distributing a set of short hairpin RNA (shRNA) pooled libraries to the academic community. Altogether, the libraries cover over 15,000 human genes and nearly 10,000 mouse genes (

Cellecta, Inc. Releases the DECIPHER Project’s Third Module of the Human Lentiviral RNAi Library for Functional Screening
February 24, 2011 (PRWEB)
Cellecta, Inc. released the 3rd Module of the DECIPHER Project Pooled shRNA Library which targets an additional 5,000 human genes. This new Human Library Module adds additional cell surface, extracellular, DNA binding targets, and other genes to the well-annotated signal transduction and disease-associated genes primarily targeted with the first two modules of the human shRNA library.

Cellecta, Inc. Announces Launch of the Open Source DECIPHER Project to Provide Free Access to RNAi Genetic Screen Tools
October 28, 2010 (PRWEB)
Cellecta announces the DECIPHER Project–an open source platform for genome-wide RNAi screening and analysis that provides free-of-charge access to shRNA libraries and software for genome-wide functional screening for researchers from academic and non-profit institutions.

Cellecta, Inc. Receives Contract from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to Identify Synthetically Lethal Breast Cancer Genes
September 30, 2010 (PRWeb)
Cellecta has received a $200K SBIR contract from the NCI to identify combinations of genes that, when silenced together, trigger death of cancer cells. These synthetic-lethal gene combinations can be difficult to identify with standard screening approaches, but Cellecta’s pooled lentiviral shRNA gene-suppressor library platform can be readily adapted for these types of anticancer drug target combinatorial screens.

Cellecta, Inc. Receives $1.8M Phase II NIH SBIR Grant to Screen for Potential Breast Cancer Drug Targets
September 16, 2010 (PRWeb)
Cellecta, in collaboration with The Scripps Research Institute, starts the next phase of its project to find new breast cancer drug targets by using its pooled lentiviral gene suppressor libraries to screen human isogenic mammary epithelial (HMEC) cells in genome-wide scale.

Cellecta to collaborate with Ariadne and Roswell Park Cancer Institute to Develop Knowledgebase of Pathways for Prostate Cancer
August 16, 2010 (GenomeWeb)
Ariadne, Cellecta, and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute today announced they will collaborate to develop a knowledgebase of prostate-specific pathway models. Under the agreement, Cellecta will use its DECIPHER™ functional genomics technology to screen for a panel of prostate cancer cell lines to identify genes that are essential for cancer cell viability. From that, Ariadne will use available ’omics data to identify the pathways involved and to “build mechanistic models in support of the genes identified from the siRNA targets in the screen,” the Rockville, Md., company said in a statement.

CELLECTA, INC. to Develop New Approach for Cancer Gene Discovery in Partnership with Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Health Research, Inc.
September 16, 2009 (PRWeb)
Cellecta issued a press release announcing that the company has been awarded a subcontract to assist the scientists at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Health Research, Inc. in developing a new technology for the discovery of cancer-related genes using HT insertional mutagenesis.