Origin Agritech Ltd. (NASDAQ: SEED) (the "Company" or "Origin"), an agriculture technology company, Wednesday announced that the Company has entered a commercialization agreement with Institute of Plant Protection(IPP) of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) for a new generation insect-resistant GMO corn gene.
Origin has been collaborating closely with CAAS for more than 10 years, and IPP supplied Origin with the insect-resistant gene and with technological support. Origin has since taken the gene and created transgenic corn and further went on to validate the efficacy of the insect-resistant gene. Given that the project has cleared this major hurdle, the parties have expanded their collaboration into a commercialization agreement.
Under the terms of the agreement, the parties will continue to work together and intend to jointly file for patents on the transgenic corn and other crops created from this gene. Origin will be responsible for obtaining a bio-safety certificate, a key step needed before commercialization in China. Origin will retain exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize all crop seed containing this gene and in return will pay a single-digit percentage of sales royalty to IPP.
"Origin Agritech is a leader in crop genetic transformation in China and has outstanding advantages in the breeding and industrialization of new varieties," said Dr. Jie Zhang, deputy director of IPP, "We are thankful to have a partner with all the capabilities needed to commercialize the corn that was created based on the gene that we invented."
"Institute of Plant Protection has some of the world's brightest geneticists working to develop crops that are insect resistant, drought tolerant, and higher yielding," said Dr. Gengchen Han, Origin's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We are excited to take their gene and create a product out of it as we see a huge need for insect-resistant crops in China."
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