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GEN News Highlights : Jun 3, 2009

Limagrain Obtains License to Cellectis’ Technology for Plant Engineering

Limagrain subsidiary will conduct product development based on meganuclease technology.

The France-based agro-biotech firm Limagrain acquired a nonexclusive commercial license to use Cellectis’ I-Scel meganuclease technology in the development of new plant varieties. The agreement follows a five-year research collaboration between the companies to generate new agricultural products with this platform.

Limagrain’s commercial license marks the start of formal product development using the meganuclease tools. This will be carried out by Biogemma, the plant biotechnology company in which Limagrain has a shareholding. Resulting products will be commercialized by Limagrain and other Biogemma shareholders.

“This agreement is important because it complements our portfolio of technologies to develop genetically modified plants allowing the ability, among others, to assemble multiple traits of interest in a single plant,” comments Pascual Perez, Biogemma’s CEO. 

Cellectis’ genome engineering and meganuclease technologies are primarily being exploited for human therapeutic and biotech research applications. The company says it aims to forge wider agricultural biotechnology partnerships in a global market estimated to be worth over $10 billion annually and growing at some 15% every year.