genOway guarantees freedom to operate (FTO) and offers important gains in conditional knockout development time for industry scientists
genOway (Alternext-NYSE Euronext: ALGEN; ISIN: FR0004053510), the biotechnology company dedicated to the development of genetically modified animal models, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (UK) and Helmholtz Zentrum München (Germany), members of the EUCOMM Program (European Conditional Mouse Mutagenesis Program) and its successor program EUCOMMTOOLS (EUCOMM: Tools for functional annotation of the mouse genome) announce today the signing of a license enabling genOway to provide industry scientists with conditional knockout (KO) models developed by EUCOMM. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Industry operators will benefit from this highly valuable scientific resource for the first time:
- EUCOMM/EUCOMMTOOLS provide access to their growing conditional KO repository with 9,500 models
- genOway provides the necessary intellectual property rights to use these models, including the IRES or Homologous Recombination exclusive technologies
- The agreement enables short timespans to access EUCOMM/EUCOMMTOOLS materials and generate conditional KO models from them
The industry will strongly benefit from this new genOway offer as its R&D saves months in obtaining conditional KO models and the necessary intellectual property rights at the same time.
A knockout mouse is a genetically engineered mouse in which researchers have inactivated, or ‘knocked out’, an existing gene by replacing it or disrupting it with an artificial piece of DNA. The loss of gene activity often causes changes in a mouse's phenotype (appearance, behavior and other observable physical and biochemical characteristics). The analysis of these changes allows researchers to gain insight into the mechanisms of the respective human disease for which the modified mouse is a model.
The EUCOMM project was funded by the European Union Sixth Framework Program and its successor EUCOMMTOOLS by the Seventh Framework Program. It will generate, distribute and archive up to 11,500 conditional, targeted KO mouse models with mutations across the mouse genome. This forms part of the International Knockout Mouse Consortium (IKMC) effort. Making these valuable materials available to the research community is key to the EUCOMM and EUCOMMTOOLS projects.
High-throughput gene-targeting programs enable scientists to choose and immediately access the conditional KO they require from the repository, which can save up to one year on their research programs.
Industry scientists benefit from stringent genOway quality controls and the unmatched reliability of its platform in the production of the EUCOMM and EUCOMMTOOLS conditional KO models.
“This new agreement is of major importance for the industry since it will enable it to access a fantastic scientific resource, save a lot of time and obtain the necessary IP rights,” said Alexandre Fraichard, CEO of genOway. “We’ve already had very positive feedback from industry leaders on the value that this represents. The agreement is a good example of the importance and value of our growing IP portfolio. genOway anticipates that the industry will use our new offering to direct its conditional KO needs.”
“The EUCOMM/EUCOMMTOOLS mission is to develop this resource for academic laboratories and industry. It is essential that, if our valuable resources are to help to drive new biological discovery and healthcare, we must find mechanisms to deliver them to all researchers,” said Professor Allan Bradley of Sanger Institute. “Partnering with genOway, which already has both a strong customer portfolio of biopharmaceutical companies and the necessary IP rights to provide its customers with the rights to use EUCOMM/EUCOMMTOOLS models, will help us fulfill this mission.”
“The EUCOMM and EUCOMMTOOLS repositories have already developed more than 9,500 conditional KO models, thanks to the financial support of the European Union (EUR 25 million),” said Wolfgang Wurst, HMGU, coordinator of both European programs. “We are very enthusiastic about genOway making these models available to industry research programs, which should leverage stronger R&D activity and help to develop innovative therapeutics.”
“Direct access to EUCOMM mice via the EMMA repository will significantly reduce the time required to develop conditional KO models,” said Martin Hrabe de Angelis, director of EMMA and coordinator of INFRAFRONTIER. “The EMMA repository, via the INFRAFRONTIER platform, facilitates access to a large collection of EUCOMM mice that are widely used by the biomedical community.”