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Cellectis, Stemgent Partner on Genome Engineering, mRNA Reprogramming

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Cellectis bioresearch, a subsidiary of Cellectis group, today said that it has partnered with Stemgent to provide research services that combine mRNA reprogramming and genome engineering.

The firms said that the combination of their technologies would "pave the way for clinically-relevant applications in regenerative medicine." Terms of the alliance were not disclosed.

Cellectis' expertise is in gene editing and genome engineering. The firm's Talen-based genome-engineering technology enables direct introduction of disease-specific genetic mutations that mimic disease and reporter genes with fluorescent/luminescent tags to evaluate drug candidate efficacy, specificity, and toxicity.

Stemgent has developed an mRNA reprogramming technology to derive non-integrating, clinically-relevant induced pluripotent stem cells for use in regenerative medicine, drug discovery, and basic research.

"The challenge researchers face is that current models to test drugs are often inadequate," Ian Ratcliffe, president and CEO of Cambirdge, Mass.-based Stemgent, said in a statement. "With this partnership and the combined technologies, we can introduce mutations into reprogrammed cells and differentiate them into downstream lineages. Researchers can utilize these cells to test how mutations, known and unknown, alter the biology of the cells upon exposure to drugs."