BioWorld International Correspondent

PARIS - Cellectis SA has received its first milestone payment from Bayer CropScience under the collaboration agreement signed between the two companies in July, which covers the use of Cellectis' meganuclease technology in plant research and the development of products for use in agriculture.

Cellectis, of Romainville, France, is developing a range of custom DNA rewriting tools, including customized meganucleases, a proprietary genome engineering technology for highly specific gene targeting applications, including genomic sequence addition, modification or deletion.

For Bayer CropScience, Cellectis has used this technology to design and deliver engineered meganucleases specifically customized to recognize chosen targets in crop genomes.

The amount of the milestone payment was not disclosed, but David J.D. Sourdive, Cellectis' vice president of corporate development, said that achieving the milestone confirmed the validity of the company's strategy and technology and the merits of its collaboration with Bayer. "We are delivering as planned and are thus successfully implementing our business model," he said.

Bayer CropScience, which is based in Ghent, Belgium, wants to increase crop yields and create new plant-based products by modifying crop genomes with the help of Cellectis' meganuclease technology.

For Cellectis, agronomic applications are one of a range of potential markets for the technology.

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