PARIS and KYOTO, Japan, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Cellectis (Alternext: ALCLS), the French genome engineering specialist, and iPS Academia Japan Inc. (Kyoto, Japan) announced today that they have signed two separate non-exclusive agreements granting Cellectis worldwide access to the induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells patent portfolio arising from the work of Professor Shinya Yamanaka, MD, Ph.D., Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) at the University of Kyoto, Japan.
The agreements allow Cellectis and its affiliates to research, develop and commercialize both research tools (covered by one agreement) and human therapeutics or prophylactics (covered by the second agreement) derived from iPS cells, in a certain range of differentiated cell lineages. Cellectis is the first company worldwide to be licensed by iPS Academia Japan under this iPS cell patent portfolio for human therapeutics and prophylactics. In the research tool field, this is the first agreement with French company following agreements with US and German companies.
In 2006, Prof. Shinya Yamanaka and his colleagues first described the process by which iPS cells - somatic cells that have been reprogrammed to behave like embryonic stem cells - can differentiate into any other cell type. This breakthrough research has provided the scientific community with the tools to generate an endless source of stem cells. Importantly, iPS cells are not associated with the ethical issues attendant to embryonic cells.
Cellectis' unique genome engineering expertise and technology allows precise and reproducible targeted modifications in the genome of living cells and organisms. The iPS cell technologies will be used by Cellectis, and Ectycell, its subsidiary focused on industrial applications of iPS cells, to engineer these cells and derive consistent lines of robust products both as tools and as therapeutics.
"These agreements provide Cellectis with a powerful combination of innovative technologies to deliver robust and high value products," declared David Sourdive, PhD, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development for Cellectis. "This could potentially lead to the development of important new products in the field of human healthcare, which is a long-standing commitment for Cellectis."
"iPS Academia Japan is pleased to build a faithful relationship with Cellectis through these agreements and believe that this will be a significant step for the expansion of iPS cell technology, especially for application of this technology for regenerative medicine, " said Osamu Yoshida, MD, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of iPS Academia Japan Inc.
Cellectis is a pioneer in the field of genome engineering. The company designs and markets innovative tools -meganucleases. These molecular scissors enable targeted modifications to DNA, with applications in the research, biomanufacturing, agrobiotechnology and therapeutic sectors.
To date, Cellectis has formed over 20 academic research partnerships and has established more than 50 agreements with pharmaceutical laboratories, seed producers and biotech companies across the world. The company holds exclusive rights to a portfolio of over 260 patents granted or pending.
Since 2007, Cellectis has been listed on the NYSE-Euronext Alternext market (code: ALCLS) in Paris and has secured over euro 70 million in funding since inception.
More information at www.cellectis.com
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Ectycell was established as a subsidiary of Cellectis in September 2009 to research and commercialize industrial uses of stem cells. Its initial goals are to develop tools for generating induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from adult cells, robust and reproducible differentiation of stem cells, and cell libraries for testing drug candidates.
About iPS Academia Japan
iPS Academia Japan, Inc. (AJ) is an affiliate of Kyoto University, and its main role is, among other activities, to manage and utilize the patents and other intellectual properties held/controlled by Kyoto University and other universities in the field of iPSC technologies so that the research results might contribute to health and welfare worldwide. AJ was established at Kyoto on June 2008. AJ's patents portfolio consists of approximately thirty patent families (the total number of patent applications is about 110 cases) in the iPSC technology as of September 2010, and more than 20 license arrangements have been done with domestic and international enterprises.
Further information can be found at www.ips-cell.net
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. Such forward-looking statements are based on the current expectations and assumptions of the Company's management only and involve risk and uncertainties. Potential risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, whether the Company will be successful in implementing its strategies, whether there will be continued growth in the relevant market and demand for the Company's products, new products or technological developments introduced by competitors, and risks associated with managing growth. Unfavorable developments in connection with these and other risks and uncertainties described, in particular, in the Company's prospectus prepared in connection with its IPO and on which the French Autorite des marches financiers ("AMF") granted its visa no. 07-023 on January 22, 2007, could cause the Company to fail to achieve the objectives expressed by the forward-looking statements above.