Aquaculture North America

CAT partners with C4U Corp. for advanced CRISPR gene editing

November 20, 2023
By Aquaculture North America staff

Eggs Microinjection at the CAT Finfish Genetics Innovation Center. (Photo: Center for Aquaculture Technologies)

The Center for Aquaculture Technologies (CAT), is looking to harness CRISPR-Cas3 technology to promote genome editing in major commercial fish species and drive technological advancements within the industry.

CAT is partnering with Japanese biotech company C4U Corporation, which is best known for its proprietary “next generation” gene editing platform, developed by C4U founder, Tomoji Mashimo. According to CAT’s press release, could provide a “practical substitute” because it is unencumbered by intricate patents associated with CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing.

The CRISPR-Cas3 technology platform is similar to CRISPR-Cas9 in terms of its engineering, efficiency, and delivery methods and has already been validated both in vitro and in vivo.

C4U said it presents the distinct benefits of: no off-target deletions (improved safety) and efficient knockouts of large, programmable gene sequences. C4U’s patent portfolio is exclusively licensed worldwide to the company by Osaka University for use in eukaryotic cells, thus simplifying sublicensing transactions in sharp contrast with the complex and heavily litigated CRISPR-Cas9 patent landscape.


Akimitsu Hirai, president & CEO of C4U,  said the company’s commitment through C4U CRISPR is to ensure it is accessible for improving health outcomes and sustainable food.

“The name C4U encapsulates our vision of bringing the benefits of CRISPR technology directly to the industries that need it most, from medical therapies to enhancing aquaculture’s growth, aligning with CAT’s mission to meet the global food demand responsibly,” said Hirai.

A press release from CAT states that genome editing is a sustainable way to meet the world’s food requirements and contribute to the economic vitality of the aquaculture sector.

John Buchanan, CEO of CAT reiterates, “Our collaboration with C4U is a key part of our mission to introduce advanced genome editing technologies to aquaculture. We are invested in pursuing relationships that propel the industry forward, addressing the global food demand sustainably and responsibly.”

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