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Cibus opens dedicated, high-throughput gene editing facility for trait productionqrcode

Jul. 14, 2023

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Jul. 14, 2023

United States  United States

  • The Facility represents the first semi-automated gene editing trait production system that provides a time-bound, predictable and reproducible breeding system for the editing of commercial plants.

  • The Facility’s Trait Machine™ process edits directly into a customers’ elite germplasm, increasing speed and scale of trait development & commercialization.

  • The Facility provides Cibus the gene editing production capacity to support the commercial launch of its first three developed traits across canola, winter oilseed rape, and rice.

Cibus, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBUS), a leading agricultural technology company that develops and licenses plant traits to seed companies for royalties, announced the opening of its Oberlin facility in San Diego with its first Production Run. The 32,000 square foot Oberlin facility, powered by Cibus’ proprietary Trait Machine™ process, is the first high-throughput trait production system for plants. The completion of this facility is an important step in Cibus’ vision of the Future of Breeding that integrates High Throughput Gene Editing Systems as extensions of seed company breeding programs. With the Trait Machine process, Cibus is able to fundamentally change the way seed companies bring new traits into their advanced product pipelines and significantly accelerate the pace at which new trait innovation is delivered to the farmers.

″The Cibus Trait Machine process changes how agricultural trait products are commercialized using proprietary breeding technologies. It allows customers to select their most appropriate elite germplasm to be edited by Cibus. Cibus, in turn, returns to its customers seeds which contain the edits and can be used immediately in the advanced stage of their customer’s breeding program,″ said Peter Beetham, President and Chief Operating Officer of Cibus. Beetham added: ″This is the ‘Future of Breeding’ and why the Trait Machine and Oberlin facility are so important. We are enabling a new scale and speed for farmers to access new traits that will help them produce higher yields at lower costs, in a more sustainable way to address the challenges of climate change.″

The Trait Machine process employed at the Oberlin facility integrates crop specific RTDS® cell biology platforms with a series of gene editing technologies to enable a system of end-to-end crop specific precision breeding. Oberlin is currently operational for canola, winter oilseed rape, and rice. The company is dedicated to also establish cell biology platforms for soybean, wheat, and corn within the foreseeable future – the work on soybean is most advanced. Cibus has developed traits for both canola and winter oilseed rape, and in 2023, began transferring back to customers their elite germplasm with Cibus traits. The high-throughput capacity provided by the Oberlin production facility is important to enable Cibus to meet the demand from its seed company customers for its proprietary traits and for the development of future traits.

″The opening and commissioning of Oberlin, provides Cibus the needed production capacity to support the commercial launch of our developed traits in canola, winter oilseed rape, and rice,″ said Andrew Walker, Cibus’ Vice President Production. ″We are already initiating gene editing production runs directly in the elite germplasm of eleven different seed companies who have provided Cibus the materials to edit our traits directly into their elite lines. This type of gene editing production system allows our customers to bypass the conventional trait introgression breeding approach which can be time consuming, labor intensive, and less precise.″

″With Oberlin now fully operational, we are just scratching the surface on the potential of high-throughput gene-editing. This is the start of a new era. Our expectation is that it will be the model for how gene-editing-as-a-service is accessed by seed companies going forward, with the ultimate goal of providing innovation that delivers benefits directly to the farmers.″ added Greg Gocal, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Cibus. ″In addition, as this facility increases the scale and throughput of our gene-editing processes, it also allows us to more rapidly test and prototype new trait concepts, building on the success of our advanced commercial-ready traits.″

Source: Cibus


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