2012 Nobel laureate in medicine Shinya Yamanaka reaffirms commitment to CiRA-Cellectis partnership

Published on November 12, 2012

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Paris, France, November 12th, 2012 – Cellectis (Alternext: ALCLS), the genome-engineering specialist, was honored to welcome Professor Yamanaka, this year’s Nobel laureate in medicine, for a meeting with the Group's teams at its Paris headquarters.

Recent Nobel laureate Shinya Yamanaka, director of the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) at Kyoto University in Japan, was joined in Paris by Fleur Pellerin – deputy to the French minister of industrial renewal in charge of small and mediumsized businesses, innovation, and the digital economy – where he met the Cellectis research teams with whom CiRA has been working together for several years.


As Europe's stem cell leader, Cellectis anticipated – no later than in 2008 – the extraordinary scientific and industrial potential of new products developed using cell reprogramming technology.

Pr. Yamanaka's visit was an opportunity to reaffirm the essential role his work on iPS cells has played in shaping tomorrow’s biotech industry.

First published in 2006, Pr. Yamanaka’s research involves reprogramming cells from the human body to return to their undifferentiated, embryonic, pluripotent state. His revolutionary discoveries have paved the way to real-world applications in fields such as gene and cell therapy as well as regenerative medicine.

Thanks to its unusual scientific insight, Cellectis realized early on how crucial Pr. Yamanaka’s research was. In 2010, the Group took out licenses on several patents held by Kyoto University.

Cellectis now markets cell models that implement this technology to researchers and the pharmaceutical industry.

André Choulika, Chairman and CEO of Cellectis Group, was pleased with the meeting and voiced his conviction that Pr. Yamanaka's achievements were nothing short of revolutionary, likening them to a sort of biological time machine. He also emphasized, “Cellectis’ job is to develop technology that can be applied – especially for therapeutic purposes – and to market innovative products that will contribute to making people healthier.

Pr. Yamanaka in turn reaffirmed his commitment to the joint efforts led by CiRA and Cellectis. He said he was "happy with this partnership – with its scientific quality" and expressed his “confidence in Cellectis’ ability – in the short- to long-term – to come out with innovative and efficient therapeutic solutions."

Fleur Pellerin, deputy to the French minister of industrial renewal in charge of small and medium-sized businesses, innovation, and the digital economy, spoke of her “great satisfaction in seeing a biotech company successfully grow step by step.” She reiterated “the government's commitment, under the leadership of Jean-Marc Ayrault, to building a strong industry, founded on innovation."

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