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Cellectis Sues Precision BioSciences for Infringement of its Patents Concerning Meganuclease Technology

BIOCITECH PARK, ROMAINVILLE, France, March 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cellectis SA (NYSE: ALCLS), a world leader in rational genome engineering, has announced today that it filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Precision BioSciences, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The lawsuit seeks a declaration that, by making and selling certain meganucleases, Precision BioSciences infringes two Cellectis patents relating to its proprietary meganuclease recombination systems. The Precision Biosciences' meganucleases at issue are intended to target site-specific DNA breaks and effect a desired genome modification in a given transgenic organism, such as a plant. The lawsuit seeks both monetary damages for infringement, as well as a permanent injunction preventing Precision BioSciences from any further making, using or selling of such meganucleases. "We take our intellectual property rights very seriously and intend to vigorously pursue this patent infringement case," said Dr. Andre Choulika, CEO and co-founder of Cellectis SA., and the man who participated in coining the term "meganuclease."

Since its creation in January 2000 and throughout its development, Cellectis has made special efforts to protect new discoveries made by its research team as well as those of its partner, the world-renowned Institut Pasteur. Cellectis currently owns the exclusive rights to over 35 issued patents and 113 pending patent applications. Most of these patents are based on Cellectis' fully integrated genome engineering system referred to as its Meganuclease Recombination Systems (MRSs). These systems offer natural, efficient, precise and flexible genome surgery with several applications, among others, in the therapeutic area and in the plant science field.

About Cellectis

Cellectis SA ( is a world-leading company in genome engineering and genome surgery. The company is focused on developing and producing custom meganucleases for in vivo DNA surgery and also provides new tools for rational reverse genetics and targeted recombination. Cellectis' products induce unique, site-directed, double-strand DNA breaks in living cell and can be used in a wide range of biotechnological and therapeutic applications.

A strong Patent portfolio

Cellectis holds exclusive rights to 148 patents and patent applications providing the company with a strong position in the field of homologous recombination (3 issued US patents) and meganucleases and uses thereof (18 issued US patents) both naturally-occurring and with engineered specificity. A significant part of this patent portfolio has been exclusively licensed by Institut Pasteur, which spun off the company in 2000.

Institut Pasteur, thanks to its work with pioneering groups in the filed, has a long history in the exploitation of methods of homologous recombination, a major scientific breakthrough (Nobel Prize 2007) and is today the assignee of cornerstone patents from the late 80's. Finally the team, which discovered meganucleases and published founding works on the I-SceI homing endonucleases leading to the constitution of the Cellectis proprietary patent portfolio, is from Institut Pasteur.

A strong scientific background

Teams involved in the discovery of meganucleases at Institut Pasteur and Cellectis have published tens of cornerstone publications in prestigious peer-review papers such as Cell, Nature, Science, PNAS, JBC or JMB. For the sole year 2007, Cellectis has published 5 important scientific publications in peer-review journals and 2 papers since the beginning of 2008.

A technology that delivers

Cellectis currently holds a portfolio of 18 meganucleases with modified specificity, deriving from the I-CreI meganuclease with applications in:

- Healthcare, Therapeutics - major indications are severe innate genetic diseases, DNA virus infectious diseases, transplantation and Cancer

- Agricultural biotechnology - major targets are seed improvements, biofuels and biofibers

- BioProduction - major indications are cell line and recombinant protein improvements

- BioTools - a major indication is the development of research kits for pharmacogenomic studies and in particular drug screening

A partner oriented strategy

The company has signed 48 partnerships with pharmaceutical companies (Astra-Zeneca, GSK, Shire), agricultural biotechnology groups (Limagrain, Bayer, BASF, DuPont-Pioneer HiBred) and biotech companies (Genentech, Transgenics, Lexicon). Cellectis contributes to over 20 academic partnerships including Institut Gustave Roussy cancer research centre, Paris Childrens Hospital (France), Boston Childrens Hospital or Harvard Gene Therapy Initiative (USA).


The company raised above EUR24m in an IPO on NYSE Euronext Alternext (February 2007) to increase its meganucleases production capacity to 20 products a year by the end of 2008. To date the company has raised over EUR40m both in private and public rounds.

Cellectis is listed on the NYSE Euronext Alternext market (ticker code: ALCLS). For more information on Cellectis, visit our web site:

Cellectis' Forward-Looking Statements

This communication expressly or implicitly contains certain forward-looking statements concerning Cellectis SA and its business. Such statements involve certain known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause the actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements of Cellectis SA to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Cellectis SA is providing this communication as of this date and does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. For a discussion of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements of Cellectis SA to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements please refer to the Risk Factors (Facteurs de Risque) section of the prospectus approved by the French Autorite des Marches Financiers ("AMF") on January 22nd, 2007 under visa number 07-023, available on the websites of the AMF ( and Cellectis (

SOURCE Cellectis SA
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