Cellectis, a French clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing immunotherapies based on gene-edited CAR T-cells (UCART), on Tuesday announced a patent grant by the European Patent Office, for the invention of using RNA-guided endonucleases, such as Cas9 or Cpf1 for the genetic engineering of T-cells.
Cellectis said that the patent will be issued on August 2, 2017.
This therapeutic-focused patent follows previous intellectual property that Cellectis has obtained over the two last decades for major gene editing technologies including meganucleases, TALEN®, MegaTAL and CRISPR.
Dr. André Choulika, Cellectis Chairman & CEO, said: “Cellectis is a pioneering gene editing company that has always been at the forefront of all gene editing technologies. “
Cellectis has been the first to explore the potential of CRISPR in its early days in various applications, including therapeutics and food, and these early findings ultimately led to the grant of this new patent, the CEO said.
Furthermore, he said that, while Cellectis has selected TALEN as the most robust and adaptable technology for human therapeutic use and for the company’s product pipeline, its team does sometimes use CRISPR-based nucleases for T-cell research, as it is a less-expensive option and convenient for gene discovery purposes. He said that this patent will drive the company further in the gene editing industry, and has announced more patents in the near future.
Convinced of its strong value for future development of engineered CAR T-cells, Cellectis will make this patent available for licensing to companies that are willing to use this technology in T-cells.