Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Synthetic Gene Circuits

Posted by Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew UniversityResponsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Israel

Summary of the technology

Synthetic Gene Circuits
Project ID : 6-2019-8748

Description of the technology


Synthetic biology is the discipline of engineering application-driven biological functionalities that were not evolved by nature. Early breakthroughs of cell engineering, which were based on ectopic (over)expression of single sets of transgenes, have already had a revolutionary impact on the biotechnology industry, regenerative medicine and blood transfusion therapies.

Now, we require larger- scale, rationally assembled genetic circuits engineered to program and control various human cell functions with high spatiotemporal precision in order to solve more complex problems in applied life sciences, biomedicine and environmental sciences.

This will open new possibilities for employing synthetic biology to advance personalized medicine by converting cells into living therapeutics to combat hitherto intractable diseases.

A major challenge in the field of synthetic biology is: How to confine the expression of any gene of interest only to pre-selected cells. Some solutions tackle this problem by requiring simultaneous activation of two different promotors, however even such solutions inevitably allow basal expression of the gene of interest when only one of the two promoters is active.

Our Innovation

This invention provides a solution to this challenge through a new genetic platform which guarantees zero expression of the gene when only one of the two promotors is active, thus paving the way for multiple clinical applications of markedly increased safety.

Application for use:

One example for potential application is an immunomodulatory gene circuit platform hat enables tumor-specific expression of immuno-stimulators that permits selective T cell-mediated killing of cancer cells, but not of normal cells, is developed. This platform shows prolonged survival in a mouse cancer model and has the potential to be adapted to express a range of other immune regulators and to treat other cancer types.


  • Synthetic RNA-based circuits enable tumor-specific immune-modulator expression
  • These circuits trigger tumor-specific killing by T cells in vitro
  • Circuit-mediated immunomodulation enacts effective antitumor responses in vivo
  • This approach can be adapted to target multiple cancer types

Project manager

Mel Larrosa
VP Business Development Healthcare

Project researchers

Lior Nissim
HUJI, School of Medicine - IMRIC
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Related keywords

  • Medicine, Human Health
  • Biology / Biotechnology
  • Genome Research
  • Micro- and Nanotechnology related to Biological sciences
  • Recombinant DNA
  • Monoclonal Antibodies and Hybridomas
  • Gene Splicing and Manufacturing Equipment
  • Other Genetic Engineering
  • Molecular design Market
  • Microbiology Market
  • Micro- and Nanotechnology related to Biological sciences
  • Biochemistry / Biophysics Market
  • Toxicology Market
  • In vitro Testing, Trials Market
  • Stem cells and biobanks
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology Market
  • Population genetics Market
  • Gene Expression, Proteom Research Market
  • Bioinformatics Market
  • Enzymology/Protein Engineering/Fermentation
  • Genetic Engineering Market
  • Diagnostic
  • Therapeutic
  • Other Medical/Health Related
  • Agro and Marine biotech
  • Anatomy, Pathology, Immunology, Physiology
  • Clinical Medicine
  • Life Science & Biotechnology
  • Oncology / Cancer

About Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Technology Transfer Office from Israel

Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. Founded in 1964 to protect and commercialize the Hebrew University’s intellectual property. Ranked among the top technology transfer companies, Yissum has registered over 8,900 patents covering 2,500 inventions; has licensed out 800 technologies and has spun-off 90 companies. Products that are based on Hebrew University technologies and were commercialized by Yissum generate today over $2 Billion in annual sales.

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