PARIS and EVRY, France, June 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cellectis (Alternext: ALCLS), the genome engineering specialist, and VitamFero, a biotech company of the Genopole® portfolio developing new vaccines against parasite infections, today announced the signing of a research, development and licensing partnership agreement. This agreement will grant VitamFero access to Cellectis' proprietary meganuclease technology for the design and development of a new generation of living attenuated vaccines.
Under this 5-year agreement, Cellectis will supply VitamFero with preselected meganucleases for initial use in the development of vaccines against parasites responsible for toxoplasmosis, neosporosis, and others.
"Vaccines against these parasite diseases are a major challenge both for public health and the economy, in particular in the veterinary sector," declared Cellectis CEO Andre Choulika. "We are delighted to be working with VitamFero in this field to promote the development of a new application of our technology."
For Pascal Breton, CEO of VitamFero, "This agreement represents an important step forward for our company, by getting access to Cellectis' intellectual propriety and strengthening our technological potential in the modification of the genomes of apicomplex parasites."
Cellectis improves life by applying its genome engineering expertise to a broad range of applications, including agriculture, bioresearch and human therapeutics. Cellectis is listed on the NYSE-Euronext Alternext market (code: ALCLS) in Paris. For further information about Cellectis, visit our website at: www.cellectis.com.
Created in 2005 and having just completed a significant raise of 1.1 M euro, VitamFero (www.vitamfero.com) exploits the breakthroughs jointly obtained and patented by CNRS, INRA and Universite Francois Rabelais in Tours (France) in the domain of antiparasite vaccines, an area where needs are still largely unmet. VitamFero is built on a strong and validated scientific basis, based on the development of living parasite strains (i.e. Toxoplasma gondii, ...), attenuated by complete and targeted deletion of virulence genes.
Genopole® is the leading French science park dedicated to life sciences. Its campus - near Paris - combines academic (CEA, CNRS, INRA, INSERM and the University of Evry-Val-d'Essonne) and private research laboratories, university/higher education facilities, biotechnology companies and an incubator for biotech start-ups. Genopole®'s priority is to promote therapy- and environment-focused biotech by providing optimal conditions for company growth and progress in research, the development of large-scale biological activities and to make France a major competitor in the world of science and industry. Additional information about Genopole® is available at http://www.genopole.fr.