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Cellectis' Meganuclease Technology Used to Efficiently Prevent Viral Infection
Date:1/19/2011

PARIS, Jan. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cellectis (Alternext: ALCLS), announced today that scientists from Cellectis therapeutics, the French National Center For Medical Research (CNRS) and Institut de la Vision (Paris) have used its proprietary meganucleases to successfully prevent infection of cultured cells by a Herpes Simplex virus (HSV-1). The research has just been published online by Molecular Therapy(1) (Mol. Ther. 2011, Jan 11. Epublication ahead of print).  These are the first proof-of-concept data showing that meganucleases can prevent viral infection.

In this article, scientists used HSV-1 specific meganucleases engineered by Cellectis to successfully prevent the infection of human cultured cells by HSV-1. Subsequent analysis of the treated cells using deep sequencing techniques showed that inhibition of HSV-1 infection by the anti-HSV-1 meganucleases was associated with cleavage of viral DNA (or virus clipping). When the virus is clipped at a well-chosen and specific location, this prevents its normal activity as well as its ability to replicate and spread.

"Virus clipping using meganucleases is a new therapeutic approach to tackle persistent viral infection which could have broad applications in medicine," said Pr. Jose Alain Sahel, Director of Institut de la Vision. "We are particularly interested in the potential of meganucleases in the prevention of recurrent infection during corneal transplantation and look forward to continuing our studies in this area."

"The results published in Molecular Therapy are very exciting since they open new fields of research for fighting HSV recurrent infections, a major cause of both acquired and severe loss of vision," added Dr. Marc Labetoulle, M.D., Ph.D. of CNRS.

About HSV-1 infection

HSV-1 infection is highly prevalent globally, with an estimated 70-90% of the adult population carrying the virus. The majority of seropositive individuals are unaware th
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SOURCE Cellectis therapeutics
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