W.R. Grace & Co. and E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. announcedthat they have cross-licensed selected elements of theirtechnologies for gene delivery.
Du Pont's Biolistic technology, which was developed at CornellUniversity, uses compressed gas to propel particles of gold ortungsten coated with DNA into cells.
The Accell technology independently developed at AgracetusInc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Grace, uses an electricdischarge to propel DNA-coated gold particles.
"This is the single most important transaction we've completedto date, because it gave us control over our core technology inthe areas of our interest: plant and healthcare applications,"said Russell Smestad, vice president of finance and commercialdevelopment at Agracetus. "Du Pont can pursue their coreinterests and so can we."
Under the agreement, the companies have dividedcommercialization rights based on category of use.
Grace and Agracetus received an exclusive license formammalian uses of Du Pont's technology and paid a one-timefee for a non-exclusive license for plant uses. Agracetus ispursuing applications such as human gene therapy, geneticvaccines and transgenic animals with its Accell deliverysystem, which it continues to exclusively control.
Du Pont will be the exclusive provider of commercial licensesfor use of the Biolistic technology in plant applications, with theexception of ornamentals. Rights to those are held by JohnSanford, the inventor of the Biolistic gun.
Du Pont will continue to make non-exclusive licenses availablefor all plant and non-mammalian products. In addition, Bio-RadLaboratories Inc. of Hercules, Calif. (NASDAQ:BIO.A), Du Pont'sexclusive marketing agent, will continue to lease Du Pont'sBiolistic guns for research use.
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