US-based life sciences and diagnostics company Danaher and the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) have announced a collaborative centre to develop gene-editing therapies for rare and other diseases.

The centre, known as the Danaher-IGI Beacon for CRISPR Cures, is intended to use CRISPR-based gene editing technology. It will be based at the University of California, Berkeley.

Both firms will use the technology to permanently address several diseases with a unified research, development and regulatory approach.

The partnership will also develop a new model for the future production of a vast range of genomic medicines.

Under the collaboration, IGI will use its expertise in CRISPR engineering, nonclinical models of inborn errors of immunity and gene-edited cell product production.

Danaher operating companies will offer its tools, reagents, resources, and expertise to streamline preclinical and clinical development. The life sciences firm will also help establish new standards for safety and efficacy.

Danaher president and CEO Rainer Blair said: “We are thrilled to join forces with some of the finest scientific minds in gene editing at the IGI, bringing R&D and manufacturing talent, technology and expertise from across several of our operating companies in an effort to create transformative solutions for incredibly important but too-often underserved patient communities.”

During the initial stage, the Danaher-IGI Beacon seeks to create gene-editing treatments for hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) and Artemis-SCID, two rare genetic disorders called inborn errors of immunity (IEIs).

The collaborative centre will drive these pre-clinical gene-editing therapies from design to initial regulatory submission.

Additionally, the new collaborative research centre will lower the preclinical and clinical development time and price of these investigational rare disease therapies.

IGI founder Jennifer Doudna will supervise work at the centre along with Fyodor Urnov, IGI’s director of technology and translation and director of the new beacon.

Urnov said: “Danaher and the IGI are in a unique position to join our respective strengths, build such a platform, and create a first-of-its-kind CRISPR cures ‘cookbook’ that can be used by any team wishing to take on other diseases.”