Thermo Fisher Scientific entered into a series of agreements with Cellectis related to TALEN™ TAL nucleases. Among them, Thermo Fisher, under Cellectis' rights, now has a worldwide license to the TAL nucleases outside the therapeutic field. Whereas Thermo Fisher had already been marketing TALEN for R&D, bioproduction, and certain applied markets under its Life Technologies brand, the firm now has exclusive rights to grant sublicenses in those areas.

In addition, Cellectis, under Thermo Fisher's rights, has been granted a worldwide license to TAL nucleases in the R&D field for internal and collaborative research, to commercialize TAL gene editing for Cellectis bioresearch’s products and services, and also in the plant biotech field for Cellectis plant sciences’ in-house and collaborative research and development. Cellectis is also picking up a therapeutic R&D worldwide license, including rights to grant sublicenses for therapeutic uses in the fields of T cells and Natural Killer cells.

The U.S.-based charity The Two Blades Foundation has exclusive intellectual property (IP) rights covering the foundational work on TAL effectors performed at Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) for commercial applications in plants. Helge Bastian, Ph.D., Thermo Fisher's general manager and vp, synthetic biology, said in a statement that Thermo believes these agreements will create a strong IP portfolio comprised not only of the University of Minnesota and MLU's foundational work but also additional IP controlled by each firm.

“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,” Dr. Bastian added.

Cellectis picked up the rights to TALEN's IP from the University of Minnesota and Iowa State University back in January of 2011. The USPTO issued a fourth patent to the two universities for TALEN last month.

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