APAC / Issue 5 2018 27 Refuge Biotechnologies Appoints CSO to Advance the Development of Intelligent Cell Therapies in Oncology g Refuge to accelerate the clinical development of Refuge’s next- generation cell therapies for cancer and to fully realise the potential of the dCas9 platform.” Added Neil Shen, founding and managing partner of Sequoia China, “Sequoia China endeavours to back innovative companies in the life science field such as Refuge Bio, which brings together topnortch scientific and commercial talents in the gene editing and cell therapy space. We are pleased to support Refuge Bio to further develop the dCas9 platform for wide therapeutic applications to improve human health.” The CRISPRa and CRISPRi are made possible by dCas9, which no longer cuts DNA but functions as a carrier to specific areas of the genome for highly targeted delivery a transcriptional activator or repressor to turn on or turn off genes. The novel receptor- dCas platform allows for control of how a cell interacts with its environment. Cells generally communicate and sense their surrounding through membrane receptors. Connecting receptors to dCas creates a therapeutic platform that enables cells to sense its surroundings and activate or repress multiple gene expression based on the receptor-ligand interactions. With receptor-dCas, cells can be now programmed to turn off certain genes, such as PD-1, to generate more potent CAR-T immune cells when it senses the presence of a tumour cell.