Cellectis Plant Sciences, Inc. Locks Early CRISPR Intellectual Property Uses in Plants

Cellectis plant sciences entered in an exclusive license agreement with Regents of the University of Minnesota covering certain uses of CRISPR technology

April 15, 2015 — New Brighton (Minnesota, USA) Cellectis plant sciences, Inc., a Minnesota-based Company focusing on developing healthier food products, has announced today that it has signed an exclusive license agreement with the University of Minnesota that grants Cellectis the worldwide rights to use the technology covered by the patent rights of the family WO/2014/144155 entitled “Engineering Plant Genomes Using CRISPR/Cas Systems”. In addition to meganucleases and TALEN™ technology, this approach for targeted modification of plant genomes was developed by the laboratory of Professor Dan Voytas in the University of Minnesota.

The technology has demonstrated results in plant genome engineering and adds to Cellectis plant sciences, Inc. strong intellectual property rights in the gene editing field, in addition to meganuclease and TALENTM technologies.

“We are pleased to strengthen our collaboration with the University of Minnesota and gain exclusive access to this technology that excites academics and the industrial community for its simple access to design new nucleases” commented Luc Mathis, Chief Executive Officer of Cellectis plant sciences, Inc. “CRISPR technology is being rapidly adopted by the life science community, and we are delighted to expand our technology portfolio to it, opening new opportunities for the commercial development of healthier food products.”

Similarly to meganucleases, Zinc Fingers and TALEN™, CRISPR technology enables a number of useful tools to target specific loci in a genome and/or modulate the expression of genes. The technology is based on novel sequence-specific nucleases that can be cheaply engineered to recognize any gene of interest in a genome.  Application in plants, similarly to the other gene editing technologies, could enable the development of valuable crops.

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