GSK forms CRISPR alliance with UC Berkeley and UCSF to create functional genomics insitute. Coupla of points ought to be added (thread).…
The main one, technologywise, is this about using CRISPR as a gene function screen. I can't explain it, but in short, you can do a gazillion experiments at once, fleshing out connections, sketching the biology, finding drug targets.…
The other is a policy issue. GSK is paying $67 million for a squad of UC scientists whose activities, via a board, they help DIRECT. Plus GSK has exclusive right of refusal on all the IP, both drug targets and tech. Gotta wonder why public employees working for this drug company
People don't seem to recall or much care a very similar deal in 1999, between Novartis and UC Berkeley, caused an absolute sh*tstorm, and headlines like "The Kept University." in fact, no one even seemed to be aware of this history…
Times change? Academia changes? Technology changes? Per Jonathan Weissman, of UCSF, this industry funded activity is good because academics aren't position to scale up this screening tech, and putting it in a startup kind of walls it off.
The problem of being deeply involved with industry though is that it creates a conflict of interest. What is the CRISPR tech we're going to get? Already, decisions of all sorts are fundamentally colored by the financial interests of the parties developing it.
During a conference call with journalists, Hal Barron, CSO of GSK, repeatedly called CRISPR "ENORMOUSLY POWERFUL." Yes, and with enormous power comes enormous responsibility. Want to think about whether CRISPR activities in academia, already highly commercial, should be more so
Lastly, a reporter asked Jennifer Doudna if this outfit would edit embryos. "THERE IS NO INTENTION RIGHT NOW TO BE EDITING EMBRYOS IN THIS CENTER," she said. more cells and organoids. But I was surprised this needed a qualification of 'right now.' maybe later? door open? /end
PS. exactly what was said on germline CRISPR from the transcript.
PPS. per UC berkeley, GSK does not have a right of refusal. They have an option to license exclusively. these are different in that the former lets you spoil a deal you didnt take at first.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Antonio Regalado

Antonio Regalado Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @antonioregalado

Apr 29
Half hour interview with Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan carried out by Eric Topol.…
It's sort of agonizing..
the "BioHub" funded by the billionaires to treat or prevent all disease by 2100, was founded about six years ago...
Read 5 tweets
Apr 27
Discussion of a recent Wapo editorial concerning the earliest sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 in China, based on recovered messages from a commercial scientists in China. The earliest date has never been clear to me.
The Wapo editorial states "On Jan. 5, after a 40-hour shift in the lab, professor Yong-Zhen Zhang of Fudan University in Shanghai sequenced the genome based on a sample from Wuhan."
I have also seen the claim that the Wuhan Institute of Virology sequenced the virus on or about Jan. 5th.
Read 10 tweets
Mar 5
Following huge IPO, synthetic biology company Ginkgo Bioworks has seen stock decline ~ 67%. It now has a market cap of ~ $5 to 6 billion. That's around its valuation in last venture rounds before going public (considering company now has about $1.7 billion in cash). 🧵
This thread went on to discuss share sales by Viking Global---but a tweeter says I have misread the document (share conversion instead of share sale). Thread deleted until i figure it out!
Yeah, looks like a share conversion. I was wrong about the sale of shares. Thread retracted.
Read 4 tweets
Jan 27
Listening to Knight Foundation session on misinformation and Covid-19. Covid origins reporter Jane Qui with interesting remarks about overt and covert campaigns by China and US governments.

overt is like China foreign minister saying that covid comes from Ft. Detrick

covert is US gov official feeding their lab leak suspicions to reporters, who report suspicions and convert them into a form of evidence
says China finds "virality" inherently threatening.

"china has a strong machine to censor, and they don't like anything to go viral"

even benign stuff. random stuff gets censored
Read 5 tweets
Jan 20
"cellular rejuvenation programming"

This was the little analyzed new technical coinage in the Altos Labs news and press release yesterday.

I expect they thought about it.

A thread 🧵
The phrase is in their P.R.---it's even in their press release URL.

This is the term they picked to describe their technology and approach, probably after much thought…
The term is, in fact, a novel invention. I searched Google for it.

Excluding Altos Labs from the search, and disregarding first two hits (that are still about Altos), yielded a single prior occurrence. That was on the Facebook page of a doctor involved in anti aging.
Read 17 tweets
Jan 19
Altos Labs came out of stealth today with $3 billion in funding.

Mission: unravel deep biology of cellular rejuvenation programming

Funders: They don't disclose ((only ARCH))

Full list of the scientists that joined is here.
Here is the PR release:…
$3 billion is exactly twice the $1.5 billion committed to Calico, the earlier longevity research company started by Larry Page, Google, in 2013…
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!