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 combin