EpiCypher secures co-licensing agreement for foundational chromatin technology

By Samantha Black, PhD, ScienceBoard editor in chief

December 15, 2021 -- EpiCypher has co-exclusively licensed cleavage under targets and release using nuclease (Cut&Run) and cleavage under targets and tagmentation (Cut&Tag) technology from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The agreement strengthens EpiCypher's intellectual property to include both research-use-only and diagnostic applications.

Cut&Run leverages chromatin immunocleavage technology that uses a fusion of protein A, protein G, and micrococcal nuclease (pAG-MNase) to selectively cleave antibody-labeled chromatin thereby eliminating the need for immunoprecipitation and greatly simplifying chromatin isolation workflows. EpiCypher offers Cut&Run assay reagents and kits plus user-friendly Cut&Run protocols to go from cells to sequencing-ready DNA.

Cut&Tag is an immunotethering assay based on Cut&Run, where a fusion of protein A, protein G, and Tn5 transposase is used to catalyze simultaneous cleavage and sequencing adapter ligation at antibody-bound chromatin. Cut&Tag eliminates the need for chromatin fragmentation, as well as library preparation, providing a streamlined workflow that is ideal for ultra-low inputs, including single cells. Currently, the company offers Cut&Tag products and optimized protocols, with new applications in active development.

Under the co-exclusive licensing partnership, EpiCypher will expand its Cutana Cut&Run and Cut&Tag product lines, and explore new applications to unlock the full potential of chromatin mapping for drug development and diagnostics.

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Applications of these technologies will enable researchers to explore the role of chromatin in exquisite detail, according to Michael-Christopher Keogh, PhD, chief scientific officer at EpiCypher. The company believes that the technology will help identify changes in chromatin that can inform the selection of new clinical compounds and therapeutic mechanisms of action, as well as identify biomarkers that are predictive of disease or patient response.

The agreement strengthens EpiCypher's existing patent portfolio, which includes intellectual property covering DNA-barcoded nucleosomes and their use for antibody validation and quantitative sample normalization.

The company is exploring opportunities to increase access to their Cutana Cut&Run and Cut&Tag product lines that provide drastic improvements to established methods, such as chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq). EpiCypher has correspondingly scaled Cut&Run on liquid handlers to analyze hundreds of samples per week, which will significantly reduce the cost of executing epigenetics research thereby making it more accessible to drug developers and clinical researchers.

The company is currently seeking commercial partners who can leverage Cut&Run and Cut&Tag technologies to accelerate the development of next-generation drugs to improve human health.

Do you have a unique perspective on your research related to epigenomics? Contact the editor today to learn more.

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