SAINT PAUL, Minn., Nov. 4, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Cellectis plant sciences, the plant genome engineering specialist and subsidiary of Cellectis (Alternext: ALCLS), announced today that it has signed a technology licensing agreement with Japan Tobacco Inc., a global supplier of tobacco, pharmaceuticals and food products, for access to its Agrobacterium transformation technology known as PureIntro®. The agreement provides Cellectis plant sciences with the ability to utilize Japan Tobacco's technology for the precise modification of the corn and rice genomes.
Cellectis is a leader in meganuclease-based genome engineering. Its technology has many applications in plants, allowing for the insertion, deletion or modification of gene sequences to create plants expressing new traits with added value (for example: drought resistance, enhanced nutritional qualities, disease resistance). A subsidiary, Cellectis plant sciences, was established earlier this year in Saint Paul (Minnesota, USA), to enable the technology's full potential in plants.
The Agrobacterium transformation technology from Japan Tobacco allows efficient delivery of DNA to plant cells. This approach, which is already widely used in plants, will allow Cellectis plant sciences to modify the corn and rice genomes using custom meganucleases.
"At Cellectis plant sciences, we are focused on meeting the challenges of the growing global demand for food by improving staple crops such as rice and corn," said Daniel Voytas, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Cellectis plant sciences. "The PureIntro® technology is a proven method that will advance this important research."
About Cellectis plant sciences
Established in March 2010, Cellectis plant sciences is a subsidiary of Cellectis dedicated to the applications of meganucleases to plants. Its main mission is to increase and accelerate usage of Cellectis' proprietary technology in agricultural biology, broaden the company's platform to attract new and expanded licensing opportunities and explore the development of proprietary traits for selected applications. Cellectis plant sciences is located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA. Daniel Voytas, PhD, is serving as Chief Scientific Officer of Cellectis plant sciences. Dr Voytas is also Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Genome Engineering.
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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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.