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Cellectis gains exclusive licence to CRISPR gene tool

French genomics company Cellectis' US subsidiary, Cellectis Plant Sciences (New Brighton, Minnesota), has signed a licensing agreement with the University of Minnesota over a novel gene editing technology. It grants Cellectis exclusive worldwide rights to the patent, WO/2014/144155, covering "engineering plant genomes using CRISPR [clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats]/Cas [CRISPR associated] systems". In addition to meganucleases and TALEN (transcription activator-like effector nucleases) technology, this approach for targeted modification of plant genomes was developed by the laboratory of Professor Dan Voytas, Cellectis points out.  It enables a number of useful tools to target specific loci in a genome and/or modulate the expression of genes, the company notes. The technology is based on novel sequence-specific nucleases that can be cheaply engineered to recognise any gene of interest in a genome. As with other gene editing tools, its application could lead to the development of valuable crops, Cellectis



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