Cellectis Sues Precision BioSciences for Infringement of its Patents Concerning Meganuclease Technology



    BIOCITECH PARK, ROMAINVILLE, France, March 13 /CNW/ - Cellectis SA (NYSE:  
ALCLS), a world leader in rational genome engineering, has announced today
that it filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Precision BioSciences,
Inc. in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North
Carolina. The lawsuit seeks a declaration that, by making and selling certain
meganucleases, Precision BioSciences infringes two Cellectis patents relating
to its proprietary meganuclease recombination systems. The Precision
Biosciences' meganucleases at issue are intended to target site-specific DNA
breaks and effect a desired genome modification in a given transgenic
organism, such as a plant. The lawsuit seeks both monetary damages for
infringement, as well as a permanent injunction preventing Precision
BioSciences from any further making, using or selling of such meganucleases.
"We take our intellectual property rights very seriously and intend to
vigorously pursue this patent infringement case," said Dr. Andre Choulika, CEO
and co-founder of Cellectis SA., and the man who participated in coining the
term "meganuclease."
    Since its creation in January 2000 and throughout its development,
Cellectis has made special efforts to protect new discoveries made by its
research team as well as those of its partner, the world-renowned Institut
Pasteur. Cellectis currently owns the exclusive rights to over 35 issued
patents and 113 pending patent applications. Most of these patents are based
on Cellectis' fully integrated genome engineering system referred to as its
Meganuclease Recombination Systems (MRSs). These systems offer natural,
efficient, precise and flexible genome surgery with several applications,
among others, in the therapeutic area and in the plant science field.

    About Cellectis

    Cellectis SA (http://www.cellectis.com) is a world-leading company in
genome engineering and genome surgery. The company is focused on developing
and producing custom meganucleases for in vivo DNA surgery and also provides
new tools for rational reverse genetics and targeted recombination. Cellectis'
products induce unique, site-directed, double-strand DNA breaks in living cell
and can be used in a wide range of biotechnological and therapeutic
applications.

    A strong Patent portfolio

    Cellectis holds exclusive rights to 148 patents and patent applications
providing the company with a strong position in the field of homologous
recombination (3 issued US patents) and meganucleases and uses thereof
(18 issued US patents) both naturally-occurring and with engineered
specificity. A significant part of this patent portfolio has been exclusively
licensed by Institut Pasteur, which spun off the company in 2000.
    Institut Pasteur, thanks to its work with pioneering groups in the filed,
has a long history in the exploitation of methods of homologous recombination,
a major scientific breakthrough (Nobel Prize 2007) and is today the assignee
of cornerstone patents from the late 80's. Finally the team, which discovered
meganucleases and published founding works on the I-SceI homing endonucleases
leading to the constitution of the Cellectis proprietary patent portfolio, is
from Institut Pasteur.

    A strong scientific background

    Teams involved in the discovery of meganucleases at Institut Pasteur and
Cellectis have published tens of cornerstone publications in prestigious
peer-review papers such as Cell, Nature, Science, PNAS, JBC or JMB. For the
sole year 2007, Cellectis has published 5 important scientific publications in
peer-review journals and 2 papers since the beginning of 2008.

    A technology that delivers

    Cellectis currently holds a portfolio of 18 meganucleases with modified
specificity, deriving from the I-CreI meganuclease with applications in:

    
    -   Healthcare, Therapeutics - major indications are severe innate
        genetic diseases, DNA virus infectious diseases, transplantation and
        Cancer

    -   Agricultural biotechnology - major targets are seed improvements,
        biofuels and biofibers

    -   BioProduction - major indications are cell line and recombinant
        protein improvements

    -   BioTools - a major indication is the development of research kits for
        pharmacogenomic studies and in particular drug screening
    

    A partner oriented strategy

    The company has signed 48 partnerships with pharmaceutical companies
(Astra-Zeneca, GSK, Shire), agricultural biotechnology groups (Limagrain,
Bayer, BASF, DuPont-Pioneer HiBred) and biotech companies (Genentech,
Transgenics, Lexicon). Cellectis contributes to over 20 academic partnerships
including Institut Gustave Roussy cancer research centre, Paris Childrens
Hospital (France), Boston Childrens Hospital or Harvard Gene Therapy
Initiative (USA).

    Financing

    The company raised above EUR24m in an IPO on NYSE Euronext Alternext
(February 2007) to increase its meganucleases production capacity to
20 products a year by the end of 2008. To date the company has raised over
EUR40m both in private and public rounds.

    Cellectis is listed on the NYSE Euronext Alternext market (ticker code:
ALCLS). For more information on Cellectis, visit our web site:
http://www.cellectis.com.

    Cellectis' Forward-Looking Statements

    This communication expressly or implicitly contains certain
forward-looking statements concerning Cellectis SA and its business. Such
statements involve certain known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other
factors, which could cause the actual results, financial condition,
performance or achievements of Cellectis SA to be materially different from
any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such
forward-looking statements. Cellectis SA is providing this communication as of
this date and does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements
contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
For a discussion of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results,
financial condition, performance or achievements of Cellectis SA to differ
from those contained in the forward-looking statements please refer to the
Risk Factors (Facteurs de Risque) section of the prospectus approved by the
French Autorite des Marches Financiers ("AMF") on January 22nd, 2007 under
visa number 07-023, available on the websites of the AMF (
http://www.amf-france.org) and Cellectis (http://www.cellectis.com)





For further information:

For further information: Cellectis SA, Andre Choulika, PhD., Chief
Executive Officer, +33-(0)-1-41-83-99-00, mail@cellectis.com; Alize RP,
Caroline Carmagnol, caroline@alizerp.com, +33-(0)-6-64-18-99-59

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