Pharmacy researcher engineers LLN encapsulation technology; enters into licensing agreement

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May 31, 2019

Yizhou Dong
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The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy has entered into a non-exclusive license agreement with Beam Therapeutics, a Boston Biotech company for lipid-like nanoparticle (LLN) encapsulation technologies created by Yizhou Dong, PhD, associate professor of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry. This agreement is royalty bearing and will be further developed under a strategic research agreement with Beam.

CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) allows researchers to precisely edit targeted DNA sequences and genomes. Base editing is a new category in CRISPR gene editing that improves the accuracy and efficiency of the CRISPR-Cas 9 technique. Beam’s groundbreaking technology allows scientists to make specific edits to base pairs in DNA or RNA. By using the power of a CRISPR enzyme, scientists can target a single location within the genome out of billions of bases (A, C, G, T). At that site, the technology is capable of precisely editing just a single base, without cutting the DNA or RNA strands. Lipid-like nanoparticles (LLN) provide an effective in-vivo delivery method for CRISPR/cas9 mRNA- based therapeutics

Dong’s research is devoted to drug discovery and development for the treatment of cancer as well as inherited genetic disorders. By integrating his team’s specialties in pharmaceutics, pharmaceutical chemistry, biomedical engineering, materials formulation, and pre-clinical studies, his lab designs novel therapeutic medicines and uncovers their mechanisms of actions.

Since arriving at Ohio State in 2014, Dong has filed over twenty invention disclosures. He has received numerous awards including the 2018 Nano Research Young Innovator in Nanobiotech, the Young Innovator in Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Award, The Ohio State University Early Career Innovator of the Year and the Forty under 40 Award by Columbus Business First.