RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Nova Synthetix and Precision BioSciences, Inc., today announced that they have initiated a joint research effort to generate non-GM, ricin-free castor plants using Precision’s Directed Nuclease Editor (DNE) technology in combination with Nova Synthetix’s proprietary plant transformation system. Scientists at Nova Synthetix and Precision also plan to utilize their joint capabilities to generate improved castor variants capable of producing user defined oil profiles for industrial, biofuel, and feed-directed applications. The companies believe that the successful development of this multi-year research effort will address a significant agricultural need and result in a castor plant that is safer and has far greater market utility.
The need to replace petroleum-derived materials with sustainable, non-polluting alternatives is driving the 2.1 mm Mt/$4B biobased polymers market. Castor oil is used in many applications, including biobased nylons, a 0.2 mm Mt market growing at >25%/Yr. Nova Synthetix has developed a non-GM strategy to eliminate castor seed toxin (ricin) gene expression enabling the expansion of castor cultivation and improving castor-derived feedstocks availability. Ricin-free castor will also serve as a platform for “designer” oils for new biobased materials.
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