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Cibus welcomes European Commission proposal on regulation of plants obtained from new genomic techniquesqrcode

Jul. 7, 2023

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Jul. 7, 2023

United States  United States

Cibus, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBUS), a leading agricultural technology company that develops and licenses plant traits to seed companies, welcomed the European Commission proposal on the regulation of plants obtained from New Genomic Techniques (NGTs). The proposal was adopted by the EU College of Commissioners at their meeting on July 5th and will now proceed to review in the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

The proposal is a result of a European Commission study, requested by EU Member States, which concluded that EU GMO legislation was not fit for purpose in relation to applications of NGTs in plants. NGTs include a variety of gene editing techniques leading to genetic changes classed as targeted mutagenesis and cisgenesis.

The proposal describes a category of NGTs producing modifications that could be obtained in nature or by conventional breeding. These are determined to be ‘Conventional-like’ and would be regulated in the same way as conventional varieties.

The Commission identified NGTs as tools that could contribute to greater food security and to the reduction of use and risk of pesticides set out in the EU Green Deal’s Farm to Fork strategy.

″The proposal is an important milestone with consequences beyond improved international policy alignment,″ said Tony Moran, Cibus Senior Vice President of International Development and Government Affairs. ″The long-awaited legislative change would create a very welcome stimulus for plant science innovation, especially in academia and small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), which in turn would boost the contribution of NGTs to a sustainable EU agri-food system.″

Using its RTDS® technology platform, Cibus is developing Conventional-like traits in canola and oilseed rape that could contribute to these goals. Cibus is proud to be partnering with European oilseed rape breeders and using RTDS to develop varieties that can reduce seed losses due to pod shatter and increase resistance to diseases. Within its disease resistance efforts, Cibus is developing traits intended to provide durable resistance to diseases including Sclerotinia White Mold.

″They are great examples of the potential of gene editing,″ said Carlo Broos, Vice President, Business Development at Cibus. ″Our traits for Pod Shatter Reduction and disease resistance are intended to help growers reduce inputs, reduce costs and protect yields. By doing so, Cibus is addressing the key elements for the sustainability and profitability of farming.″

About RTDS

A key element of Cibus’ technology breakthrough is its patented Rapid Trait Development System™ (RTDS®). The proprietary technologies in RTDS integrate crop specific cell biology platforms with a series of gene editing technologies to enable a system of end-to-end crop specific precision breeding. It is the core technology platform for Cibus’ Trait Machine™: the first standardized end-to-end semi-automated crop specific gene editing system that directly edits a seed company’s elite germplasm. The traits from the Trait Machine are indistinguishable from traits developed using conventional breeding or from nature. Under the European Commission proposal, products from Cibus’ RTDS gene editing platform such as canola and oilseed rape resistant to disease or with reduced seed losses would be considered ‘Conventional-like'.

Cibus believes that RTDS and the Trait Machine represent the technological breakthrough in plant breeding that is the ultimate promise of plant gene editing: ″High Throughput Gene Editing Systems operating as an extension of seed company breeding programs″. The technology moment that materially changes the speed, breadth, and scale of trait development.

Source: Cibus


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