The Genomics Institute of Asia is set to build the Human Genetic Engineering Innovation Laboratory, the first to study human genetic editing for human longevity in the country, with a target completion date of 2021.
The laboratory will utilize the CRISPR/CAS editing technology developed by Dr. Jennifer Doudna of UC Berkeley. CRISPR/CAS technology has been used by researchers to modify genes for its potential application for the prevention and treatment of diseases.
CRISPR or Clusters of Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats is a recently discovered region of an organism’s DNA that specializes as a memory bank, allowing the DNA to fight off viruses and build up immunity. Genetic editing using CRISPR is considered a major innovation in microbiology, as this allows for cheaper, more precise and less time-consuming gene editing.
Clinical trials on humans for CRISPR are currently ongoing around the world, and attempt to use CRISPR to fight blood-related diseases and cancer.
DNA Holdings Corp. chairman Tom Navasero, will be taking the helm of GINA in June 2020. Navasero previously announced that he would be stepping down as chairman of DNA and handed over the reins to Robert van Zwieten.
Navasero won the P900-million build-and-design contract for the planned human genetic engineering research facility.