Cocrystal Pharma (OTCQB:COCP) licenses certain patents and know-how from Duke and Emory Universities related to CRISPR-Cas9 technologies, a new gene editing method that many observers believe may finally deliver functional cures to many genetic disorders. The company's aim in this case, though, is to develop a cure for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and human papilloma virus (HPV) infection.
CRISPR-Cas9 is the "next big thing" in biotech because of its unprecedented precision in editing DNA. CRISPR, the acronym for "clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats," uses RNA to guide the molecular scissors, the Cas9 enzyme, to a specific DNA sequence where it makes a specific cut in the DNA and triggers the cell's DNA repair machinery to address the genetic defect. In other words, its can precisely cut out a mutated section of DNA and replace it with one that functions properly.