PARIS and KYOTO, Japan, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Cellectis (Alternext: ALCLS), the French genome engineering specialist, and the Center for iPS Cells Research and Application (CiRA) of Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, have announced today that they have started a scientific collaboration to combine Cellectis' genome engineering technologies with CiRA's induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS) technology to improve the natural characteristics of iPS cells for use as cellular tools.
CiRA was created in January 2008 by Kyoto University as part of an effort to advance iPS cells research. CiRA is headed by Prof Shinya Yamanaka, who pioneered iPS cells technology.
iPS cells are adult cells that have been reprogrammed to behave like embryonic stem cells. Theoretically, they can differentiate into any other cell type. Prof. Shinya Yamanaka and his collaborators first described their breakthrough in 2006, which has since 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 characteristic of embryonic cells.
CiRA and Cellectis are planning to combine the groundbreaking iPS technology with the genome engineering expertise of Cellectis to rationally engineer the genome of these cells in order to provide better control over their behavior.
"This collaboration supports the approach developed by Cellectis with Ectycell, its subsidiary dedicated to the industrial uses of iPS cells," declared David Sourdive, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development for Cellectis. "Together we believe we can maximize the natural synergy between these two complementary approaches to cell engineering, to develop technologies that could have a major impact in the stem cell field".
Cellectis is a pioneer in the field of genome engineering. The company designs and markets innovative tools -meganucleases. These molecul
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