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Calyxt Licenses Plant Gene-Targeting IP from U of Minnesota

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Plant genome engineering firm Calyxt yesterday announced it has signed an exclusive license agreement with the University of Minnesota for worldwide rights to intellectual property for gene targeting.

Calyxt now has rights to a family of patents entitled "Gene Targeting in Plants Using DNA Viruses." The technology is based on a group of DNA viruses known as geminiviruses and enables efficient targeted modification of plant genomes in conjunction with customizable endonucleases, the firm said in a statement.

According to the patent application, the method is "the first account demonstrating concurrent use of [geminiviruses and endonucleases] as a gene targeting methodology, which is likely to have vast implications in all areas of plant biology."

Financial and other details of the deal were not disclosed.

University of Minnesota professor Dan Voytas developed the technology in his laboratory at the school. Voytas is also chief science officer at Calyxt.

New Brighton, Minnesota-based Calyxt is formerly known as Cellectis Plant Sciences. In April, the firm licensed CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology that Voytas developed at the University of Minnesota.