Tropic Biosciences launches breakthrough GEiGS® platform

NORWICH, 14 March 2019:

Tropic Biosciences launches breakthrough GEiGS® platform to combat global crop protection challenges by combining gene editing and RNAi technologies

 

The platform is compatible with all existing gene editing tools and allows for non-transgenic editing of RNAi genes to enable a far greater set of crop protection and crop enhancement applications than existing technologies

• Recognising this technology’s wider potential beyond tropical crops, Tropic Biosciences is making GEiGS® commercially available to select companies in other sectors

• The launch is part of the company’s strategy to support local grower communities, promote consumer health, and reduce the environmental impact of the global agriculture industry

 

Tropic Biosciences, a pioneering agricultural-biotechnology company dedicated to the development of high-performing varieties of tropical crops, is proud to announce the launch of its proprietary GEiGS® technology (Gene Editing induced Gene Silencing) and the computational platform that enables its application, GEiGS-BioCompute.

GEiGS® builds upon available gene editing tools (e.g. CRISPR, TALEN) to edit existing RNAi genes and direct their silencing functions towards new targets, including insects, viruses, fungi, or even a plant’s own genes. The ability to precisely redirect silencing functions in this way has exciting implications for the global agricultural industry, enabling a robust set of new crop protection and crop enhancement applications.

Gilad Gershon, CEO of Tropic Biosciences commented: “The GEiGS-BioCompute platform is the culmination of several years of work on our part and we are delighted to share it with the agricultural community. The benefits of this technology are numerous; we are particularly excited by its potential to improve the lives of growers and consumers alike through the development of disease resistant plant varieties. We are already using GEiGS® to support our work on coffee and bananas, as well as providing access to the technology to select companies in order to advance their industries.”

To date, the applications of gene editing have required extensive efforts to discover and validate genes within a plant, that when edited can provide resistance against pathogens. This process can take as many as 10 years, incurring significant costs, with no guarantee of achieving the desired outcome. GEiGS® overcomes these challenges by targeting a pathogen’s genes directly, enhancing product development pipelines substantially.

Dr. Eyal Maori, CSO of Tropic Biosciences, commented: “GEiGS-BioCompute streamlines the gene editing process significantly by analysing a plant’s genomic data to determine where the fewest changes can be made to non-coding genes in order to achieve a new, desired trait. The process is extremely accurate, requiring changes to only a handful of nucleotides out of billions, while allowing us to finely tune expression levels and control the tissue in which the silencing will occur, therefore enabling highly customised and effective applications.”

Recognising the immense value GEiGS® offers the wider industry, Tropic Biosciences has made GEiGS® available to selected companies for use in the development of their own products across a variety of fruit, vegetable and cereal crops. Proceeds from the commercialisation of GEiGS® will be reinvested into the platform, and used by Tropic Biosciences to support the development of new varieties of tropical crops.

Dr. Ofir Meir, CTO of Tropic Biosciences, said; “GEiGS® represents a true step forward in expanding the application of gene editing to a greater set of commercial objectives. In conjunction with GEiGS-BioCompute, it provides an excellent basis to tackle critical disease challenges in plants and overcome the time and cost constraints associated with traditional gene editing techniques.”

Key benefits of GEiGS®

  • Key Benefits Icon
    Precise, predictable, and stable tuning of target gene expression

    By redirecting the silencing activity of the host’s own non-coding genes, GEiGS® introduces novel RNAi activity with highly programmable potency and tissue specificity. This elegant approach requires only minimal changes to the host’s genome (less than 20 nucleotides), thus avoiding transcriptional gene silencing and allowing for highly stable RNAi activity over time and across generations.

  • Key Benefits Icon
    Accelerated development of critical disease and pest resistance traits

    GEiGS® can be used to redirect the silencing activity of the host’s native non-coding genes towards well characterized and highly conserved viral, fungal or pest genes. This distinctly direct approach significantly accelerates product development time while minimizing pleiotropic effects associated with editing the host’s coding genes.

  • Key Benefits Icon
    Favourable regulatory classification in multiple markets

    GEiGS® technology does not involve the insertion of DNA sequences from other organisms (‘Foreign DNA’) into the host genome and does not impact the sequence of proteins. These factors allow for a non-GM classification in multiple major markets and a more streamlined regulatory approval process.

  • Key Benefits Icon
    Universal platform that works with existing gene editing tools

    GEiGS® is not dependent on any one specific gene editing tool, but instead can be deployed by using a broad range of different nucleases. This provides the user with freedom to choose which gene editing tools they use to implement GEiGS® edits – tools that may already be applied in their existing pipelines.

Find out how GEiGS® technology can benefit you

How our users benefit from using the GEiGS® platform

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Access the GEiGS® platform

We collaborate with world-leading companies and academic institutions, enabling them to access our pioneering GEiGS® technology to address some of the most pressing agricultural production challenges.

Contact us today to discuss GEiGS® licensing and service options and join us in driving innovation forward.

geigs@tropicbioscience.com +44 (0)1603 274441