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ClearLight Biotechnologies Signs an Exclusive License Agreement to Develop and Commercialize the CRYSTAL Technology, Invented at the University of Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich

Posted on Sep 10, 2019

SUNNYVALE, CA September 10, 2019 (PR NEWSWIRE)

ClearLight Biotechnologies, Inc. announced today the execution of an exclusive world-wide license agreement to develop and commercialize the 3D tissue clearing technology, CRYSTAL, invented by Professor Adriano Aguzzi, M.D, Ph.D., and Daniel Kirschenbaum, M.D, Ph.D. at the University of Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich. The advantage of the CRYSTAL technology lies within a focused detergent-ion stream tailored to the sample to be optically cleared. Previous detergent electrophoretic methods for optical clearing, rely on an electric current irrespective of sample morphology. Thus, in these approaches the ion stream traverses the sample container along the path of least electrical resistance, which is simply the surrounding buffer solution. Modifying this with the CRYSTAL technology, to a focused electrophoretic approach enhances the clearing process multi-fold and allows the clarification of a 1 mm thick tissue biopsy in 30 minutes. CRYSTAL is easy to miniaturize and parallelize, and it has been successfully utilized in the academic setting to test multiple drugs in animal models of disease. Compared to clearing methods which are based on passively incubating samples in various solvents, active methods such as CLARITY and CRYSTAL allow for controlled expediting of the clearing process making it amenable to automation. Reproducible automation of a focused electrophoretic clearing process allows for rapid tissue clarification, making this technology highly amenable to future clinical applications.

“In surgical pathology, time is of the essence. By doing away with paraffin embedding and microtome cutting, the CRYSTAL technology allows for acquiring holographic ultra-high-resolution images of specimens more quickly than with conventional histology,” said Professor Aguzzi, Director of the Institute of Neuropathology.

Founder and Scientific Advisor, Karl Deisseroth M.D, Ph.D. said, “CRYSTAL is very powerful. The resulting combined technologies establish a new paradigm for fast and information-rich intact-tissue clinical histology, unmatched in the field.”

“We are eager to develop such an innovative technology that will advance the CLARITY, active tissue clearing field, said Laurie Goodman,” Ph.D. CEO of ClearLight.  “It adds a crucial piece to our growing intellectual property portfolio.  Furthermore, this capability along with the exclusivity to develop CLARITY for clinical applications will enable ClearLight to fully automate the process, to achieve competitive turnaround times associated with 2D thin section IHC methods.”

ClearLight aims to provide the next generation in normal and diseased tissue analysis by providing true 3D digital spatial analysis in 3D.

About ClearLight

Founded by Karl Deisseroth M.D, Ph.D., ClearLight is developing an automated instrumentation platform based on the CLARITY lipid-clearing technique developed by Dr. Deisseroth and colleagues at Stanford. This technique enables the transformation of tissue into a nanoporous, hydrogel-hybridized form that is crosslinked to a three-dimensional network of hydrophilic polymers. The process produces a fully assembled, intact tissue, which is permeable to macromolecules and optically transparent, thus allowing for robust three-dimensional imaging of subcellular components (DNA, RNA and protein) and analysis of heterogeneous cellular interactions within the microenvironment of a tissue. This technology, paired with proprietary 3D image analysis software, will enable more accurate analysis and assessment of normal and diseased tissue.

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