Cellectis SA, a specialist in genome engineering and spin-off from the Institut Pasteur in Paris, said it intends to list on the Alternext Market of Euronext in Paris. The company registered its “document de base” (application) at the end of 2006.
The company’s platform technology revolves around a new class of molecular scissors based on proprietary meganuclease enzymes that can recognise, bind and cut DNA with extremely high specificity. It is developing and commercialising its Meganuclease Recombination Systems (MRSs), which combine these molecular scissors with a DNA matrix for targeting and modifying a gene of interest in vivo, without affecting the rest of the genome. The system is designed to operate via the action of the cell's natural maintenance and repair system.
Cellectis claims that this first-in-class, scalable technology opens the way to rational genome engineering, which seeks to accurately and reliability insert, modify, modulate or correct genes in any living organism. Unlike earlier generations of gene engineering technology it does this without introducing foreign genes, which are often imprecise and poorly tolerated.
The company has eight MRSs in development, and a string of collaborations and joint ventures in both therapeutic and agricultural applications of genetic engineering.
Founded in 2000 by André Choulika and David Sourdive, Cellectis holds a portfolio of 27 granted patents and 69 pending applications. Since its creation, Cellectis has raised €17.5 million in two rounds, in 2000 and 2002. The main shareholders are AGF Private Equity, BankInvest Biomedical Venture, Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, Kaminvest Holding and Odyssée Venture.