genOway offers industry scientists immediate access to EUCOMM conditional KO mouse models

genOway guarantees freedom to operate (FTO) and offers important gains in conditional knockout development time for industry scientists

Lyon, France, July 2, 2014 – 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.”

More information :

About genOway 
genOway (ALTERNEXT-NYSE: ALGEN) is a biotechnology company developing genetically modified and high value-added research models for the bio-pharmaceutical, chemical, agrochemical and food industries as well as for academic research. With highly qualified scientific personnel, the company has a workforce of 95 people and operates in 28 countries in Europe, Asia and North America, supplying more than 275 customers. It is a market leader in terms of both size and customer portfolios. The company’s development is founded upon both a broad and exclusive technology platform as well as strong intellectual property rights combining patents and licensing agreements. Taking advantage of the global trend towards outsourcing the production of genetically modified research models, genOway has signed contracts with leaders of the pharmaceutical industry (Janssen R&D, GSK, Pfizer, etc.), and with prestigious academic research centers (King’s College and the University of Manchester, in England; Harvard, Caltech and the National Institutes of Health, in the United States; the Institut Pasteur, in France; NGFN and the Max Planck Institutes, in Germany, etc.). 
For more information, visit our web site

Disclaimer: This press release and the information contained herein do not constitute an offer to sell or subscribe, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or subscribe, for shares in genOway in any country.

About The Sanger Institute 
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is one of the world’s leading genome centers. Through its ability to conduct research at scale, it is able to engage in bold and long-term exploratory projects that are designed to influence and empower medical science globally. Institute research findings, generated through its own research programs and through its leading role in international consortia, are being used to develop new diagnostics and treatments for human disease.

About Helmholtz Zentrum München
As German Research Center for Environmental Health, Helmholtz Zentrum München pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the prevention and therapy of major common diseases such as diabetes mellitus and lung diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle. The Helmholtz Zentrum München has about 2,200 staff members and is headquartered in Neuherberg in the north of Munich. Helmholtz Zentrum München is a member of the Helmholtz Association, a community of 18 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centers with a total of about 34,000 staff members.

EUCOMM and EUCOMMTOOLS are the European front-runners in a global endeavor (IKMC) aimed at conditionally mutating all protein coding genes in the mouse.
The EUCOMM and EUCOMMTOOLS consortia contribute the largest fraction of conditionally mutated genes in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells to the IKMC and are currently generating several thousand mouse models from their ES cell resources.
Furthermore, EUCOMMTOOLS will develop novel genetic tools to enhance the versatility of the IKMC resource, e.g. by providing gene cassettes for the introduction of any open reading frame (ORF) into EUCOMM/EUCOMMTOOLS modified loci. EUCOMM/ EUCOMMTOOLS represent a unique resource of vectors, mutant ES cells and mutant mice whose materials are distributed worldwide by the EuMMCR and EMMA repositories, respectively, enabling functional genomics research in a standardized and cost-effective manner by a wider biomedical research community than has ever been possible before. Hence, EUCOMM and EUCOMMTOOLS contribute substantially to the acceleration of functional gene annotation and health research, ultimately aiming at the improvement of human health.
More details are found at:

About EMMA – The European Mouse Mutant Archive 
The EMMA is a non-profit repository for the collection, archiving (via cryopreservation) and distribution of relevant mutant mouse strains essential for basic biomedical research. The laboratory mouse is one of the most important mammalian models for studying genetic and multi-factorial diseases in man. The comprehensive physical and data resources of EMMA support basic biomedical and preclinical research. The available research tools and mouse models of human disease offer the opportunity to develop a better understanding of molecular disease mechanisms and may provide the foundation for the development of diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic strategies. EMMA is supported by the partner institutions, national research programs and by the EC’s FP7 Capacities Specific Program.

INFRAFRONTIER is the European Research Infrastructure for phenotyping and archiving of model mammalian genomes. The INFRAFRONTIER Research Infrastructure provides access to first-class tools and data for biomedical research. It thereby contributes to improving the understanding of gene function in human health and disease using the mouse model.

The core services of INFRAFRONTIER comprise the systemic phenotyping of mouse mutants in the participating mouse clinics, and the archiving and distribution of mouse mutant lines by the European Mouse Mutant Archive (EMMA). In addition, INFRAFRONTIER provides specialized services such as the generation of germ-free mice (axenic service) and training in state of the art cryopreservation and phenotyping technologies.

The INFRAFRONTIER GmbH coordinates the transnational activities of the national partners that together form the European INFRAFRONTIER Research Infrastructure.

Download the press release:

Mark Tidmarsh

Follow us on Twitter:

Tel France : +33 1 56 54 07 02               
Tel UK : +44 1273 675100   
Tel US :  +1 617 517 0146