Bill Schmitt
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ChristianaCare Spins Out First Commercial Gene Editing Biotechnology Start-Up Company, CorriXR Therapeutics

ChristianaCare, a leading non-profit health system in the mid-Atlantic region, today announced it has spun out its first commercial biotechnology private start-up company, named CorriXR Therapeutics.

CorriXR Therapeutics (pronounced Cor-ix-er; from Galician meaning to correct or edit) will use CRISPR gene editing technology to develop new, clinically relevant oncologic therapeutics in areas of unmet medical need, starting with squamous cell carcinoma of the lung. Its close relationship with ChristianaCare and the ChristianaCare Gene Editing Institute uniquely positions it to research and develop innovative, patient-centered therapies.

The new start-up company has been boosted with $5 million in seed financing from ChristianaCare and Brookhaven Bio.

“We are excited to spin out CorriXR Therapeutics, which has an enormous opportunity to use the incredible power of gene editing to revolutionize patient care by delivering faster and more accurate diagnoses, targeting treatments and preventing genetic disorders,” said Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, ChristianaCare president and CEO.

The company has developed unique CRISPR/Cas biomolecular tools that disable the genome of a tumor cell but not the genome of a healthy cell, which enables target selectivity.

CorriXR Therapeutics will license technology from the Gene Editing Institute and work closely with its scientific researchers and clinical oncologists at ChristianaCare. The Gene Editing Institute’s integrated bench-to-bedside approach connects leading-edge science to patient care.

“CorriXR Therapeutics is the next phase of the Gene Editing Institute’s evolution and impact as an incubator for groundbreaking technology in a patient-first approach to research,” said Eric Kmiec, Ph.D., chief executive officer of CorriXR Therapeutics. “The novel way we are using CRISPR-directed gene editing technology in solid tumors, beginning with a hard-to-treat form of lung cancer, has enormous promise as a treatment option to improve the lives of people with life-threatening disease.”

The CorriXR Therapeutics team includes experienced biotechnology executives and world-renowned scientists and clinicians. The executive team is led by Eric B. Kmiec, Ph.D., chief executive officer, and Brian Longstreet, chief operating officer.

Kmiec is also the executive director and chief scientific officer of ChristianaCare’s Gene Editing Institute. He is widely recognized for his pioneering work in the fields of molecular medicine and gene editing, having discovered many of the molecular activities that regulate the efficiency of human gene editing.

Longstreet, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, is a seasoned pharma and biotechnology industry veteran with over 30 years’ experience, beginning at Schering-Plough and then Merck & Co. Recently, he has helped to build start-up biotechnology companies.

Earlier this year, ChristianaCare restructured its Gene Editing Institute into a wholly owned subsidiary, which positions it to advance research to develop therapies using CRISPR gene editing technology and to fast-track discoveries for commercial application. The new structure also enables it to expand its educational outreach using its CRISPR in a Box™ educational toolkit and to develop its analytic software program, DECODR™. The Gene Editing Institute originated in ChristianaCare’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute in 2015.


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About ChristianaCare

Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, ChristianaCare is one of the country’s most dynamic health care organizations, centered on improving health outcomes, making high-quality care more accessible and lowering health care costs. ChristianaCare includes an extensive network of primary care and outpatient services, home health care, urgent care centers, three hospitals (1,430 beds), a freestanding emergency department, a Level I trauma center and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, a comprehensive stroke center and regional centers of excellence in heart and vascular care, cancer care and women’s health. It also includes the pioneering Gene Editing Institute.

ChristianaCare is nationally recognized as a great place to work, rated by Forbes as the 2nd best health system for diversity and inclusion, and the 29th best health system to work for in the United States, and by IDG Computerworld as one of the nation’s Best Places to Work in IT. ChristianaCare is rated by Healthgrades as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals and continually ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek and other national quality ratings. ChristianaCare is a nonprofit teaching health system with more than 260 residents and fellows. With its groundbreaking Center for Virtual Health and a focus on population health and value-based care, ChristianaCare is shaping the future of health care.

About the ChristianaCare Gene Editing Institute

The Gene Editing Institute, a worldwide leader in CRISPR gene editing technology and the only institute of its kind based within a community health care system, takes a patient-first approach in all its research to improve the lives of people with life-threatening disease. Since 2015, researchers at the Gene Editing Institute have been involved in several ground-breaking firsts in the field, including the development of the first CRISPR gene editing tool to allow DNA repairs outside the human cell which will rapidly speed therapies to patients and a unique version of CRISPR called EXACT that reduces the number of off-target edits to other areas of the genome, which is vital for further research and patient applications. Its researchers are currently developing a patient trial for lung cancer using CRISPR technology.

About CorriXR Therapeutics

CorriXR Therapeutics is on the clinical frontier of gene editing as a transformative research-based biotechnology company with a ground-breaking in-vivo gene editing therapeutic platform technology. CorriXR Therapeutics advances CRISPR/Cas gene editing technology to develop new, clinically relevant oncologic therapeutics in areas of unmet medical need, starting with squamous cell carcinoma of the lung. CorriXR Therapeutic’s close relationship with ChristianaCare and ChristianaCare’s Gene Editing Institute uniquely positions it to research and develop innovative patient-centered therapies.