Lexicon Genetics Incorporated and Stem Cell Sciences plc have announced a significant expansion related to Lexicon's rights to SCS's proprietary Internal Ribosome Entry Site ("IRES") technology for genetically modified mice. IRES technology is commonly used to enhance the accuracy of gene expression in genetically altered mice and cultured stem cells.
As part of this expansion, SCS has granted to Lexicon an exclusive license to the IRES technology, subject to non-exclusive licenses previously granted by SCS.
The term of this exclusive license extends through the life of the IRES technology patents and provides Lexicon with the right to grant sub- licenses in the United States and Europe.
Lexicon obtained a non-exclusive research license to the IRES technology in 2004 and has used the IRES technology in conjunction with its patented gene targeting technology to effectively translate reporter genes in genetically altered mice and mouse embryonic stem cells.
In consideration for this exclusive license, Lexicon will provide SCS with an upfront payment and share with SCS future revenues generated by sublicenses to the IRES technology.
In addition, Lexicon has granted SCS certain non- exclusive rights under patents controlled by Lexicon covering its proprietary gene targeting technology for use in stem cell and progenitor cell lines.
"Given the complementary nature of our technologies and Lexicon's success in licensing its proprietary gene targeting technology to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, we believe Lexicon is the ideal partner to develop the full commercial value of our IRES patent position with respect to mouse models," said Peter Mountford, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of SCS.
"Importantly, this agreement also enables SCS to expand the range of products it can offer to pharmaceutical company customers from its stem cell- based drug discovery platform."
"We have used IRES technology to enhance our ability to detect the expression of genes within tissues and individual cells, thereby increasing the power of our in vivo models for gene function discovery," said Brian Zambrowicz, Ph.D., executive vice president of research at Lexicon.
"As a result of our experience with the technology, we recognized the value of adding this exclusive license to our already substantial patent estate in the area of gene knockout technology."