Stellate carves out unique position in the gene editing field for large payloads

By Samantha Black, PhD, The Science Advisory Board editor in chief

Stellate DNA is addressing the needs of the gene therapy and gene editing industries with its CRISPR technology that can deliver large payloads. The company is participating in the inaugural BioTools Innovator accelerator contest. We spoke with Bernie Suter, PhD, managing director, and Richard Shan, PhD, co-founder of Stellate DNA, to learn more.

Stellate DNA's Gatalyst DNA donor is a proprietary construction of a circular, single-stranded form of DNA that stimulates integration by homology repair at targeted locations. Gatalyst allows CRISPR-mediated gene integration of large payload sizes ranging up to 20 kilobases. The Stellate DNA team offers services for Gatalyst CRISPR cell line development.

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The company's technology is based on Shan's work in graduate school using bacteriophage M13, where he discovered that circular, single-stranded DNA is much more efficient for homology recombination than other types of DNA.

According to Shan, the world is currently in the CRISPR age -- the golden age of biology -- where technologies, such as those developed at Stellate DNA, can propel science to the next level.

Stellate DNA is one of 10 semifinalists that have the chance to win $200,000 in cash prizes in the BioTools Innovator accelerator contest, with the list of semifinalists released in late July. All semifinalists are assigned a mentor and will complete a curated curriculum designed to help them secure additional funding and elevate their companies. The field will be narrowed to four companies in early October. The four finalists will present at a live finale on October 14, 2021, where the audience will help decide the winner.

Stay tuned and follow along as we get a behind-the-scenes look at these companies as they race toward the finish!

Note: The BioTools Innovator accelerator contest is sponsored by Research Corporation Technologies and BroadOak Capital Partners, investors in's parent company, Science and Medicine Group.

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