1:17 PM
 | 
Aug 16, 2017
 |  BC Innovations  |  Emerging Company Profile

Aiming horizontal

SciBac uses horizontal gene transfer to engineer therapeutic bacteria

SciBac Inc. is using old-school genetics to make therapeutic bacteria that can battle pathogenic organisms and antibiotic-resistant infections. The approach uses horizontal gene transfer to move therapeutic genes from newly discovered species into strains already deemed safe for humans by FDA.

According to CEO Jeanette Mucha, SciBac’s DRIVE (directed recombination by in vitro evolution) platform can take any phenotype from one microbe and transfer it into a GRAS strain. “The kind of cool thing that makes our R&D faster is that we’re phenotype-based, so we don’t have to know the genetics; we just have to identify a phenotype that we want and a strain that we want to move it into.”

SciBac isolates bacteria from soil, screens for therapeutic activity on bacterial plates, and mates the positive strains with GRAS bacteria. Then it selects for...

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