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Milan Zdravkovic, MD, PhD, on Using CRISPR-Cas Systems to Target Pathogens

Milan Zdravkovic, MD, PhD, chief medical officer of SNIPR Biome, discussed the company’s ongoing research on targeting E Coli in the blood with CRISPR-based medication.

“The initial target indication that we're going forward [with] is a high-risk patient population of patients with hematological malignancy that are at risk of bloodstream infections, in particular translocation of gut bacteria from the gut lumen into the bloodstream. We have a highly selective approach using our CRISPR-Cas systems where we can eradicate [E Coli]. We are now focusing on E Coli, but our technology can be used for many other pathogens.”

Specifically targeting disease-causing pathogens in the bloodstream has remained a challenge for the medical community, and the challenge is especially difficult with regard to drug-resistant strains of bacteria.

In an interview with CGTLive, Milan Zdravkovic, MD, PhD, chief medical officer of SNIPR Biome, discussed the company’s on-going efforts to address this unmet medical need with CRISPR-Cas systems. He discussed the company’s clinical trial of one of these systems, which is focused on targeting infections of E Coli that result from the translocation of gut bacteria into the bloodstream. Zdravkovic emphasized the utility of this approach in targeting drug-resistant strains of E Coli. He also mentioned that the same systems could be modified to target other pathogens, thus allowing for a diversity of applications, including the targeting of noninfectious pathogens.

Zdravkovic additionally discussed SNIPR Biome’s on-going partnership with Novo Nordisk focusing on the potential application of their CRISPR-Cas platform to gene editing in the cardiometabolic space.