Cellectis is a pioneer in the field of Genome engineering. The company designs and markets meganucleases, innovative tools that enable targeted modifications to DNA, with three primary aims: understanding, production and treatment. These Meganucleases find their application in the research, biomanufacturing, agrobiotechnology and therapeutic sectors.
To date, Cellectis has established more than 50 agreements with pharmaceutical laboratories, seed producers and biotech companies across the world, and has formed over 20 academic research partnerships.
Cellectis was founded in 2000 by scientists Dr André Choulika and Dr David Sourdive with an exclusive technology license from Institut Pasteur. Rodney Rothstein of Columbia University chairs the Company’s Scientific Advisory Board, composed of internationally renowned scientists.
Since 2007, Cellectis has been listed on the NYSE-Euronext Alternext market in Paris and has secured over €70 million in funding since inception. Despite an aggressive plan for growth, the Company’s cash burn has remained low because of increasing revenue streams from product sales, production and partnering, and licensing activities.
The technologies designed and implemented by Cellectis are applicable to all DNA types (human, animal, plant, viral and bacterial) and all genes of interest. They can unlock or restore the DNA’s potential and are therefore open to a broad range of applications:
- Human health: the replacement of a defective gene by a functional gene (monogenic diseases such as myopathies or hemophilia), the elimination of persistent viral DNA (AIDS, Hepatitis B or Herpes viruses) and the creation of Stem cell lines with particular characteristics. Cellectis is particularly involved in the research and development of therapeutic solutions alongside AFM (the French Muscular Dystrophy Association), the Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital and the Vision Institute.
- Agrobiotechnology: the improvement of certain properties of plant crops through the replacement, addition or suppression of genes of interest or the modulation of their expression. Five of the world’s leading seed producers – BASF, Bayer Cropsciences, DuPont, Limagrain and Monsanto – already use Cellectis technologies.
- Research and biomanufacturing: through its subsidiary Cellectis bioresearch, the company markets its cGPS® (cellular Genome Positioning System) and cGPS® Custom families of kits for the in vitro modification of cell lines.
The main Biotechnology tools developed by Cellectis are based on the properties of meganucleases, natural molecular scissors that can cut DNA at a highly precise site specific to each meganuclease. Once the cut has been made, it is possible to remove, integrate or substitute a portion of DNA with the same high degree of precision. Cellectis holds the exclusive usage rights to nine Institut Pasteur families of pending or granted patents relating to the technologies underpinning this mechanism, in particular homologous recombination. Cellectis currently holds about 60 patents granted, its complete portfolio holding over 260 patents granted or pending, including the rights acquired with Vectocell®.
Each year, Cellectis designs and produces dozens of Meganucleases with modified specificity, tailor-made for researchers and engineers in state-funded and private laboratories and for clients in industry. These enable controlled, rapid, safe and reproducible modifications of the targeted DNA portion. These collaborations, along with an active technology outlicensing program and a rapidly expanding line of commercial research kits, has leas to steady revenue growth for the Company.