PARIS, April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cellectis (Alternext: ALCLS), the genome engineering specialist, has announced today that its subsidiary Ectycell has signed an agreement with the Caisse des Depots (a French financial institution) for a planned capital investment of euro 12M, in two steps, reserved in equal parts to Cellectis and Caisse des Depots.
This agreement should start no later than January 31, 2012, and is subject to the achievement of certain technical conditions.
Following this investment, Cellectis is set to hold about 75% of the capital stock and voting rights of Ectycell, the rest being held by Caisse des Depots.
Created in August 2009, Ectycell is dedicated to the industrial development of induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS(1)) cells. Ectycell is a sublicensee of Cellectis for various intellectual property usage rights, including those relating to iPS cell technology, under license from iPS Academia Japan.
"This capital increase will speed-up the development of innovative industrial tools derived from iPS cells," said David Sourdive, CEO of Ectycell. "The programs that have been launched should lead to the establishment of a world-leading industrial iPS cell bank in terms of volume and diversity by 2015."
The agreement with Caisse des Depots is part of an ambitious program launched by Ectycell and dedicated to the development, industrial production and marketing of iPS cells.
"This agreement shows that Caisse des Depots, as a privileged partner of the State and local government authorities, considers investment in SMEs a priority, helping to strengthen their equity and promote innovation," indicated Patrick Francois, Interregional Director Ile de France of Caisse des Depots. "It is in line with the support we provide to the French regional poles of competitiveness initiative by investing in innovation platforms."
This program will be run with the support of Oseo, a French public structure that provides financial support for innovative French companies.
The first commercial offers will be available in the coming months. They will provide unprecedented solutions to current techniques in terms of assessment of toxicity and efficacy of new drugs and cosmetic products.
iPS cell technologies enable adult cells, from sources such as skin or hair, to be reprogrammed to behave like stem cells, which have the capacity to give rise to any cell type such as the heart or liver. Their development should help structure the health and cosmetic industrial sectors. There are numerous potential applications of iPS technologies, in both the therapeutic and industrial sectors, and they address very large markets, due to the fact that they can overcome the volume limitations of the current technologies.
This agreement with Caisse des Depots strengthens Cellectis commitment in the stem cell domain, following on from the collaborative StemRed project, conducted in partnership with Etablissement Francais du Sang (French Blood Agency), with the purpose of producing red blood cells from iPS cells as announced on March 8, 2011.
A subsidiary of Cellectis founded in August 2009, Ectycell is dedicated to the development, production and marketing of tools for generating induced pluripotent stem cells from adult cells for industrial and therapeutic applications.
Cellectis improves life by applying its genome engineering expertise to a broad range of applications, including human therapeutics, bioresearch and agriculture. Cellectis is listed on the NYSE-Euronext Alternext market (code: ALCLS) in Paris. More information at www.cellectis.com.
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About Caisse des Depots
Caisse des Depots and its affiliates form a public group that invests in the long term to serve general interest and economic development of local governments. Its mission was confirmed by the law of modernization of economy of August 4, 2008: "Caisse des Depots and its affiliates constitute a public group serving general interest and the economic development of the country. This group fills general interest missions supporting public politics run by the State and the local governments, and can exercise competitive activities."
This press release and the information contained herein do not constitute an offer to sell or subscribe, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or subscribe, for shares in Cellectis in any country. This press release contains forward-looking statements that relate to the Company's objectives based on the current expectations and assumptions of the Company's management only and involve unforeseeable risk and uncertainties that could cause the Company to fail to achieve the objectives expressed by the forward-looking statements above.
(1) iPS: induced Pluripotent Stem cells, obtained from genetically reprogrammed adult cells