Transcriptic adds CRISPR gene editing to robotic lab

Transcriptic's robotic lab

Transcriptic has added CRISPR gene editing to the list of services provided by its robotic laboratory. The service expansion is being supported by Desktop Genetics, a developer of gene-editing software that is making its CRISPR library design algorithms available to Transcriptic.

Customers of Transcriptic can take advantage of the algorithms made available by Desktop Genetics by logging on to the web-based system that serves as the interface for all of the company's services. The site gives users control of experimental design parameters, allowing researchers to detail what they want to do and order Transcriptic's robots to carry out the assembly of their CRISPR libraries. Transcriptic and its partner think the combination will eliminate manual steps in the gene-editing process and in doing so save time and money. 

"Most labs are limited to an output of around eight cell lines per year," Desktop Genetics CEO Riley Doyle said in a statement. Teaming up with Transcriptic is intended to remove this limit and bring CRISPR to more researchers. "This partnership will allow our customers to scale their research by orders of magnitude by addressing several key bottlenecks, namely the enormous up-front capital expenditure required to set up high-throughput genome editing facilities, and an onerous CRISPR design process."

Menlo Park, CA-based Transcriptic, which is part of the new wave of West Coast bio businesses, went across the Atlantic to find the right partner to support its introduction of CRISPR. Desktop Genetics is based out of London, starting out at Google's ($GOOG) campus in the city before moving into its own digs near the area that hosted the 2012 Summer Olympics. Since getting its start in 2012, Desktop Genetics has pulled in $2.5 million in funding and landed a CRISPR collaboration with Horizon Discovery.

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