Two Blades Foundation licenses genome engineering technology to KWS
EVANSTON, IL (July 9, 2012) – Two Blades Foundation (2Blades) has completed a non-exclusive license agreement with KWS SAAT AG (KWS) for access to 2Blades’ Transcription Activator Like (TAL) effector code technology for genome engineering in certain crops.
The TAL code technology is a new method for making highly specific changes in genomes based on novel sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins. TAL effector proteins can be designed quickly and easily to recognize virtually any DNA sequence of interest, enabling the targeting of specific locations in a genome for precise gene replacement and modulation of gene function. 2Blades holds exclusive rights for commercial uses of the technology in plants. Since its discovery in 2009, the efficacy of TAL effector-based DNA targeting has been established rapidly in a wide range of plant and non-plant systems. The use of the TAL code technology in plants will enhance the efficiency and precision of the crop improvement process.
“We’re pleased to complete a license with KWS for access to the TAL code technology. It enables tools that will support their mission of delivering better seed”, said 2Blades Chief Operating Officer Diana Horvath. “KWS joins a growing list of licensees who will implement the technology in their development programs and confer a grant-back of rights to improvements that will aid 2Blades’ mission of delivering benefits for subsistence farming in developing countries”. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The TAL Code technology was discovered by Ulla Bonas, Jens Boch, Thomas Lahaye, and Sebastian Schornack at Martin-Luther University in Halle, Germany, and was named 2011 Method of the Year by the journal Nature Methods (9:1 doi:10.1038/nmeth.1852).
The Two Blades Foundation (www.2blades.org) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation dedicated to developing durable disease resistance in agricultural crops.