PARIS, March 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cellectis (Alternext: ALCLS), the genome engineering specialist, and Etablissement Francais du Sang (EFS), the only civilian blood transfusion service in France, announce that StemRed, an ambitious collaborative program to produce red blood cells from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) has started on March 1.
This program, which also involves Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC), Bertin Technologies and CECS (Centre d'Etude des Cellules Souches), will run for a period of 7 years. It will receive funding of euro 9.3 million from OSEO, which provides financial support for innovative French companies, through its Industrial Strategic Innovation Program. This support is contingent upon the achievement of certain pre-established milestones.
"StemRed's main goal is to produce these cultured red blood cells on a large scale," said Professor Luc Douay of UPMC and CSO of EFS Ile de France, who pioneered this work.
"In the short term, these red blood cells may help improve the treatment of patients with a rare blood group, or receiving repeated transfusions and posing complex transfusion problems," added Professor Gerard Tobelem, President of EFS.
"Cellectis and EFS will develop and commercialize cultured red blood cells in the framework of equal partnership," explained Dr. David Sourdive, Executive Vice-President for Corporate Development at Cellectis and CEO of Ectycell, a Cellectis subsidiary for industrial applications of iPS cells(1).
Cellectis improves life by applying its genome engineering expertise to a broad range of applications, including agriculture, bioresearch and human therapeutics. Cellectis is listed on the NYSE-Euronext Alternext market (code: ALCLS) in Paris.
More information at www.cellectis.com.
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About Etablissement Francais du Sang
Non-for-profit public structure that rely on voluntary blood donation, Etablissement Francais du Sang was established in 2000.
Under the supervision of the French Ministry of Health, its main mission is to provide blood products for the whole territory. Further to its core activity, EFS develops therapeutic activities and research programs to bring scientific and medical progress to the patient. EFS has 9,700 employees.
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(1) Induced pluripotent stem cells, obtained from adult cells that have been reprogrammed to behave like embryonic stem cells