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Thermo Fisher, Cellectis Enter Licensing Pact Covering TAL Nucleases

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Thermo Fisher Scientific and French firm Cellectis have inked a series of agreements covering the use of TAL nucleases for a variety of applications.

Under the agreements, Thermo Fisher gains a worldwide license under Cellectis' IP rights to use TAL nucleases outside the therapeutics field with exclusive rights to grant sublicenses in research and development, bioproduction, and applied markets. Thermo Fisher's Life Technologies business markets TAL nucleases under the brand name TALEN for these applications.

Cellectis has gained a worldwide license under Thermo Fisher's rights to the IP in the R&D field for internal and collaborative research, for commercialization of TAL gene editing, and in the plant biotech field for Cellectis' in-house efforts and collaborative R&D projects. In addition, Cellectis gained a worldwide license for therapeutic R&D, which includes rights to grant sublicenses for therapeutic uses in the fields of T cells and Natural Killer cells.

Financial and other terms of the licensing agreements were not disclosed.

"The agreements between Thermo Fisher and Cellectis create a powerful intellectual property portfolio comprised not only of the foundational work conducted at the University of Minnesota and Martin-Luther-Universitat Halle-Wittenberg, but also additional intellectual property controlled by each party," Helge Bastian, GM and VP of synthetic biology for Thermo Fisher Scientific, said in a statement. "The ability of TAL effectors to bind to DNA with unprecedented precision and reliability makes this technology invaluable to researchers looking to edit genomes and control gene activity. The current alliance clarifies the path for the use of TALEN gene editing in research and applied markets, and represents a major milestone in Thermo Fisher's strategy to build a comprehensive gene editing technology platform."

The firms noted that the Two Blades Foundation holds exclusive rights to the IP covering the foundational work on TAL effectors performed at Martin-Luther-Universitat Halle-Wittenberg for commercial applications in plants. The US-based charitable organization is "committed to broadly licensing its rights," the firms noted.