genOway grants the leading UK academic research funder a non-exclusive license for CRISPR/Cas9 technology
This agreement will help pharmaceutical and biotech industries to get safe access to leading expertise and preclinical models from UK academic institutions
Lyon - France, January 25, 2022 - genOway (Euronext Growth® Paris - ISIN: FR0004053510 - ALGEN), which specializes in the development of in vitro and in vivo research models, announced today that it has granted a non-exclusive CRISPR/Cas9 license to the most important funding institution of biomedical academic research in the United Kingdom.
In December 2018, genOway entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Merck for the use of its foundational CRISPR integration patents for preclinical applications in the rodent field. Since then, genOway has developed innovative preclinical models, with better translatability to humans, for both nonprofit and for-profit scientists who have supported the preclinical assessment of several drug candidates already entered in clinical trials.
genOway’s strategy is to provide a sublicense on this CRISPR technology to selected partners on a per business/per area basis to provide them with competitive advantages. For these reasons, genOway has formed a strategic partnership today with the principal funding organization in the United Kingdom to enable the latter to develop CRISPR/Cas9 Knockin models as well as distribute CRISPR/Cas9-based models and preclinical services (including sample archiving services) using those models and sell them to pharmaceutical companies.
“This agreement is in line with genOway’s strategy to promote its exclusive CRISPR/Cas9 license obtained from Merck,” says Alexandre Fraichard, founder and CEO of genOway. “This agreement, which combines research and business, will help pharmaceutical and biotech industries to access preclinical models developed by academic laboratories, while enabling the latter to promote their research to industries.”
CRISPR/Cas9 technology is a very powerful in vivo genome engineering tool that has revolutionized many research areas. Acting like a pair of molecular scissors, CRISPR/Cas9 allows scientists to cut DNA at specific locations and either delete, add or replace genetic sequences; as such, this technology represents a possible therapeutic system for the treatment of disorders associated with genomic mutations, including cancer.
“Through our exclusive rights to CRISPR/Cas9 technology, our customers and partners access a full range of models ranging from those where genes of interest are inactivated, to those where murine genes are replaced by their human counterparts (usually referred to as “humanized models”), to those mimicking human disorders like neurodegenerative diseases and also rare diseases with unmet clinical needs,” says Kader Thiam, vice president of Transgenic Technologies at genOway.
In the coming months, genOway will release more information on the ongoing discussions with other academic research funders, preclinical service providers (also referred to as contract research organizations, CROs) and catalog model providers, to enable them to include any CRISPR/Cas9-based models (not competing with the genOway catalog) in their offers and provide their customers with the necessary FTO, freedom to operate.
“We are the only company to have invested substantially to hold licenses under the three foundational CRISPR patent portfolios available today. This enables us to stand out from among our competitors while protecting our clients from infringement risks, and provide competitive advantages to selected sublicensees,” says Alexandre Fraichard.
genOway (Euronext Growth® Paris - ISIN: FR0004053510 - ALGEN) designs and develops preclinical cellular or rodent research models for pharmaceutical industries, biotechnology companies, and university institutions. By relying on a unique technological platform, made up of exclusive worldwide licenses (e.g., homologous recombination, CRISPR/Cas9), genOway is able to offer its customers innovative research models to study the effects of a gene or a therapeutic drug on a “humanized” organism.
These innovative research models support scientists from world leaders in the pharmaceutical industry (e.g., BMS, Janssen, Novartis, Pfizer), biotechnology companies (in the past eight years, 80 biotechnology companies have become genOway clients), and the most prestigious research academic laboratories in France (e.g., Institut Pasteur, Inserm) and the United States (e.g., Harvard University, Stanford University, Broad Institute).
Since its inception, the company has developed more than 2,500 research models for the pharmaceutical industry, contributing to the development of numerous treatments and therapeutic drugs.
genOway operates mainly in the United States (60%), and in 18 countries in Europe and Asia.
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