Seed World

Yield10 Bioscience Reaches an Agreement for CRISPR-Cas9 Technology


Yield10 Bioscience recently announced the signing of a non-exclusive research license agreement alongside the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Pioneer to utilize CRISPR-Cas9 technology for crops.

The license encompasses 48 patents and patent applications of intellectual property on CRISPR-Cas9 technology handled by the Broad Institute and Pioneer, according to a release. The agreement offers Yield10 the option to renew the license annually and the right to change the research license to a commercial license under conditions agreed upon by all parties.

“CRISPR-Cas9 can be a powerful scientific advantage for companies of any size,” said Neal Gutterson, chief technology officer for 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.”

Public comments recently made by USDA-APHIS suggest plants created with CRISPR technology could be designated “non-regulated” in the U.S. for development and commercialization, explained the release. This could bring shorter timelines and decreased costs connected to the commercialization of new traits compared to regulated crops.

“This technology represents a transformative application of genome editing for agriculture to improve human health,” said Issi Rozen, chief business officer at the Broad Institute. “We are proud to partner with stakeholders throughout the biomedical and agriculture communities to help deliver responsible solutions for our planet.”

Yield10 is broadening its research and development efforts with genome-edited technology with the goal to analyze seed yield, oil content yield and traits for drought tolerance deployed in major agricultural crops. The company hopes to utilize CRISPR-Cas9 in plants including camelina, canola, soybean and rice.

“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, president and CEO 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.”

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