Aelian Biotechnology combines CRISPR screening with single-cell RNA sequencing, leveraging two transformative technologies to enable genetic screening for complex phenotypes. We utilize the CRISPR screening workflow to map the impact of thousands of genetic perturbations on the global transcriptome at single-cell resolution, thus effectively establishing a paradigm for next generation CRISPR screens. Our powerful approach has broad applications in identifying novel drug targets or elucidating unknown mechanisms of actions of drugs.
What we do
Every drug screen starts with a disease model and the suitability of the model has great impact on the success of the screen. Hence, it is critical to functionally validate the disease model and assess whether drivers and endpoints of the model appropriately reflect the disease. Aelian’s unique technology supports identification of the critical genes and pathways driving certain disease states or impacting on the disease phenotype.
Mechanism of action of drugs
Understanding how drugs act in the complex environment of a cell remains one of the critical aspects of drug discovery and development. Single-cell CRISPR screening sheds light on the transcriptomic changes associated with drug action and indicates which genes affect the drug profile, thus providing unique insights into drug mechanism of action. It also uncovers genes that modify drug responses, thus paving the way for combination therapy.
Phenotypic drug discovery (PDD) is receiving much attention, as it enables the identification of drugs based on cellular read-outs and without prior knowledge of the identity of a specific drug target. Aelian’s unique CROP-seq screening platform can help decipher the molecular target(s) of drug candidates and thus allows PDD projects to move to the next level.
CRISPR screening has revolutionized the unbiased annotation of gene function, but most screens done so far have been confined to rather simplistic read-outs (usually life/death of the target cells). Combining CRISPR perturbation with single-cell sequencing allows researchers to assess much more complex phenotypes, thus effectively broadening the scope of these screens.
At Aelian, we use the CRISPR single-cell screening technology to perturb cells with CRISPR and profile transcriptional outcomes by RNA sequencing at single-cell resolution. Importantly, our technology is applicable across a wide range of cell types and also works in primary cells.
Datlinger P, Schmidl C, Rendeiro A, Krausgruber T, Traxler P, Klughammer J, Schuster L, Kuchler A, Alpar D, Bock C (2017). Pooled CRISPR screening with single-cell transcriptome readout. Nature Methods, 14, 297-301. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.4177
Diversity is in our genes. The Aelian team is composed of scientists from various countries. We value different cultures and believe that diversity fosters creativity.
Thomas has extensive experience in financing and corporate development of start-up companies. In his previous position, he was founding CEO of Haplogen Genomics GmbH, a very successful Austrian life science company sold to Horizon Discovery plc in 2015, and after the acquisition Vice President Products at Horizon, responsible for gene-engineered cell line products and global Head of Corporate Strategy and Compliance. Before he served as managing partner at Pontis Capital for 13 years and had several positions in the area of business development, financing and licensing.
Tilmann is a highly creative thinker with 20+ publications and 10+ patent applications. Together with Thomas he was part of the Haplogen Genomics management team, his scientific and technical knowledge was key for the successful exit to Horizon. At Horizon, Tilmann recently served as their Head of Innovation with global responsibility and oversight of all ongoing R&D projects
Scientific Advisory Board
Christoph is a principal investigator at the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. His research focuses on developing high-throughput technologies for biomedical applications. He is also a guest professor at the Medical University of Vienna, scientific coordinator of the Biomedical Sequencing Facility at CeMM, and adjunct group leader for bioinformatics at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics. He has received several research awards, including the Max Planck Society’s Otto Hahn Medal (2009), an ERC Starting Grant (2016-2021), and the Overton Prize of the International Society of Computational Biology (2017).
Jason is a Professor at the Donnelly Centre of the University of Toronto. During his postdoctoral stay at the Broad Institute, he helped establish the RNAi Consortium (TRC). More recently, his lab created the Toronto Knockout (TKO) CRISPR gRNA library. Jason’s academic lab utilizes functional genomics to identify novel diagnostic and therapeutic targets for the treatment of cancers. Jason has co-founded two biotechnology companies (Northern Biologics and Pionyr Immunotherapeutics) to enable commercialization of novel biologics. He is a Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Functional Genomics of Cancer.
At Aelian Biotechnology we strive to develop exciting new technologies for functional genetic screens. We are looking for people who are passionate about our mission and who genuinely care about delivering superior scientific work. Our company culture is fast-paced and collaborative with a strong commitment to excellent science.
If you feel you can contribute to our mission due to your special experience and knowledge in our core area feel free to send your application to office(at)aelian.bio.
Currently we have the following open positions: