Calyxt (CLXT) Receives EU Patent on Use of CRISPR/Cas9 for Genome Editing in Plants

December 17, 2018 4:32 PM EST
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Calyxt, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLXT), a consumer-centric, food- and agriculture-focused company, today announced the issuance of European patent No. 3008186, which claims methods to create gene-edited plants by the transient delivery of sequence-specific nucleases, including CRISPR/Cas9. This patent, granted by the European Patent Office, is owned by Cellectis and licensed exclusively to Calyxt.

“Conventionally, gene editing is performed by delivering DNA to cells,” says Dr. Dan Voytas, Calyxt’s Chief Science Officer and University of Minnesota Professor. “The DNA encodes a nuclease, such as CRISPR/Cas9, which makes the gene edit. The problem with conventional gene editing is that DNA can integrate randomly into the genome, creating off-target effects. For example, genes can be disrupted by the incoming DNA that you didn’t intend to disrupt. Calyxt has accomplished a precise method of gene editing that creates plants with the desired traits.”

Although Calyxt elected TALEN® to develop its food products, the company is constantly testing new gene editing technologies and inventing new methods and approaches to edit plant genes. Calyxt’s intellectual property portfolio is also strengthened by having licensed from Cellectis two patents of a family claiming the uses of chimeric nucleases, such as TALEN® and CRISPR/Cas9, for gene editing in any type of cells.

“Over the last eight years, Calyxt has rapidly grown, building a versatile lineup of gene editing technologies and a product pipeline that delivers healthier food products to consumers,” explains Jim Blome, Calyxt’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are excited by the continued expansion of our patent portfolio to include new tools to produce crops that produce healthier food while reducing input costs.”

Claim 1 of EP 3008186

A method for targeted genetic modification of a plant genome without inserting exogenous genetic material into the genome comprising:

(i) providing a plant cell that comprises an endogenous gene to be modified;
(ii) providing a Cas9 endonuclease protein targeted to the endogenous gene; and
(iii) transfecting the plant cell with said Cas9 endonuclease protein using biolistic or protoplast transformation, such that the Cas9 endonuclease introduces one or more double stranded DNA breaks (DSB) in the genome, to produce a plant cell or cells having a detectable targeted genomic modification without the presence of any exogenous Cas9 genetic material in the plant genome.

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