Yield10 Bioscience Inc., a company developing new technologies to create step-change improvements in crop yield to enhance global food security, announced it has signed a non-exclusive research license agreement jointly with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Pioneer, part of Corteva Agriscience Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, for the use of CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing technology for crops. The joint license covers intellectual property consisting of approximately 48 patents and patent applications on CRISPR-Cas9 technology controlled by the Broad Institute and Pioneer. Under the agreement, Yield10 has the option to renew the license on an annual basis and the right to convert the research license to a commercial license in the future, subject to customary conditions as specified in the agreement.
CRISPR technology is uniquely suited to agricultural applications as it enables precise changes to plant DNA without the use of foreign DNA to incorporate new traits. Recent public comments by USDA-APHIS indicate that plants developed using CRISPR genome-editing technology have the potential to be designated “non-regulated” by the agency for development and commercialization in the U.S., which could result in shorter timelines and lower costs associated with commercialization of new traits in the U.S. as compared to regulated crops.
“CRISPR-Cas9 can be a powerful scientific advantage for companies of any size,” said Neal Gutterson, chief technology officer at Corteva Agriscience™. “We are proud to partner with the Broad Institute to enable Yield10 Bioscience with technology they need to continue their pursuit of solutions to tough challenges, such as increasing yields while reducing crop inputs.”
“This technology represents a transformative application of genome editing for agriculture to improve human health,” said Issi Rozen, chief business officer of the Broad Institute. “We are proud to partner with stakeholders throughout the biomedical and agriculture communities to help deliver responsible solutions for our planet.”
“CRISPR genome-editing technology in many ways represents the final critical tool in the metabolic engineering toolbox to develop traits that enable step-changes in plant yield and other valuable performance traits,” said Oliver Peoples, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Yield10 Bioscience. “Yield10 is well positioned to use genome-editing to modulate the activity of specific target genes and gene combinations identified through our discovery programs in commercially significant crops. As our work progresses, we look forward to forming collaborations to develop higher performing plants and to make them widely available to growers.”
Yield10 is expanding its research and development activities using genome-editing technology aimed at evaluating seed yield, oil content yield, and drought tolerance traits deployed in key agricultural crops. Yield10 is working to deploy several novel yield, oil content and drought tolerance traits using CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing in plants such as Camelina, canola, soybean, rice and other agriculturally significant crops. In its 2018 field test program, Yield10 is testing its C3008 trait, which was granted “non-regulated” status from USDA-APHIS in 2017. Yield10 also recently completed genome-editing of a Camelina line with three oil content traits stacked, and plans to seek “non-regulated” status from USDA-APHIS to test the combination trait in the U.S. In addition, Yield10 is developing a pipeline of traits involved in oil biosynthesis as well as novel transcription factors that may increase seed and biomass yield.
For more information on the Broad Institute, visit www.broadinstitute.org.
About Yield10 Bioscience
Yield10 Bioscience is focused on developing new technologies to achieve step-change improvements in crop yield to enhance global food security. Yield10 has an extensive track record of innovation based around optimizing the flow of carbon in living systems. Yield10 is leveraging its technology platforms and unique knowledge base to design precise alterations to gene activity and the flow of carbon in plants to produce higher yields with lower inputs of land, water or fertilizer. Yield10 is advancing several yield traits it has developed in crops such as Camelina, canola, soybean and rice. Yield10 is headquartered in Woburn, MA and has an Oilseeds Center of Excellence in Saskatoon, Canada.
For more information about the company, visit www.yield10bio.com.