DuPont Pioneer Gains Exclusive License for Genome-Editing Technology from Vilnius University

Share Article

Under the agreement, DuPont receives an exclusive license to Vilnius University intellectual property for all commercial uses, including in agriculture

DuPont and Vilnius Logos
Guided Cas9 is one of the most exciting recent breakthroughs in biology and, through our collaboration with Vilnius University, we’re positioning DuPont to be an early adopter of this promising new technology in agriculture

DuPont Pioneer (DuPont) today announced a technology license and research collaboration agreement with Vilnius University to further the technical and commercial utility of guided Cas9 genome editing technology. Under the agreement, DuPont receives an exclusive license to Vilnius University intellectual property for all commercial uses, including in agriculture. In addition, Vilnius University and DuPont have entered into a multi-year research collaboration to advance the development of the technology.

“Guided Cas9 is one of the most exciting recent breakthroughs in biology and, through our collaboration with Vilnius University, we’re positioning DuPont to be an early adopter of this promising new technology in agriculture,” said Neal Gutterson, vice president, Agricultural Biotechnology for DuPont Pioneer, the advanced plant genetics business of DuPont. “The superior properties of guided Cas9 assist our scientists to develop innovative and sustainable solutions for growers similar to those realized through marker-assisted plant breeding, but with even greater precision and accelerated development timelines.”

A team of scientists from the Vilnius University Institute of Biotechnology was one of the first groups to discover that the Cas9 protein could be repurposed to precisely edit targeted sections of an organism’s DNA to achieve a specific outcome. In plants, this can include promoting drought tolerance and disease resistance for protecting plant health and increasing crop yields.

“We are pleased to have had our invention licensed by DuPont,” said Professor Virginijus Siksnys at the Institute of Biotechnology of Vilnius University. “The easy programmability of this customizable system brings unprecedented flexibility and versatility for precise genome editing. We have been and are continuing to collaborate with DuPont scientists to improve the technology further.”

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Guided Cas9 genome editing technology is one of several CRISPR-derived tools. CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is a feature naturally existing in bacteria. The guided Cas9 technology used for genome editing differs from the natural CRISPR process used to identify and immunize bacteria. The DuPont patent portfolio comprises more than 60 patents and patent applications related to the use of CRISPR for bacteria identification and immunization. It also comprises patent applications related to the guided Cas9 genome editing technology.

Vilnius University (VU) has been an integral part of European education, scientific and cultural life since its establishment in 1579. VU actively participates in international scientific and academic activities, showing excellence in research and education. For additional information about VU please visit http://www.vu.lt/en. The Institute of Biotechnology (IBT) at Vilnius University is involved in research and training in the fields of biotechnology and molecular biology and serves as the locomotive of biomedical research in Lithuania. For additional information about IBT please visit http://www.ibt.lt/en/title.html

DuPont Pioneer is the world's leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering Success®.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders, we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit http://www.dupont.com.

Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements which may be identified by their use of words like "plans," "expects," "will," "believes," "intends," "estimates," "anticipates" or other words of similar meaning. All statements that address expectations or projections about the future, including statements about the company's growth strategy, product development, regulatory approval, market position, anticipated benefits of acquisitions, outcome of contingencies, such as litigation and environmental matters, expenditures and financial results, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are based on certain assumptions and expectations of future events which may not be realized. Forward-looking statements also involve risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the company's control. Some of the important factors that could cause the company's actual results to differ materially from those projected in any such forward-looking statements are: fluctuations in energy and raw material prices; failure to develop and market new products and optimally manage product life cycles; ability to respond to market acceptance, rules, regulations and policies affecting products based on biotechnology; significant litigation and environmental matters; failure to appropriately manage process safety and product stewardship issues; changes in laws and regulations or political conditions; global economic and capital markets conditions, such as inflation, interest and currency exchange rates; business or supply disruptions; security threats, such as acts of sabotage, terrorism or war, weather events and natural disasters; ability to protect and enforce the company's intellectual property rights; successful integration of acquired businesses and separation of underperforming or non-strategic assets or businesses and successful completion of the proposed spinoff of the Performance Chemicals segment including ability to fully realize the expected benefits of the proposed spinoff. The company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statements as a result of future developments or new information.

# # #

6/23/15

Share article on socal media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Kerrey Kerr-Enskat
DuPont
+515.423.8251
Email >

Monika Kavaliauske
Vilnius University
+370.606.11496
Email >