SAN DIEGO, April 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Cibus, a leader in advanced plant-breeding technologies, today announced it has licensed to Valley Oils Partners certain U.S. rights to cultivate canola with the Cibus ultra-high-oleic oil trait.
Cibus developed the non-transgenic, "non-GMO" trait using its proprietary gene-editing technologies, called the Rapid Trait Development System (RTDS™). The ultra-high-oleic oil trait was added to Cibus' existing herbicide-tolerant germplasm, making it a completely non-transgenic "stacked" trait.
Under terms of the non-exclusive agreement, Cibus will earn royalties on Valley Oils Partners' sales of the ultra-high-oleic oil in the U.S. industrial and food markets. High oleic vegetable oils are high in desirable unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat and have been shown to be heart healthy. In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved qualified heath claims for these oils, including a statement that these oils may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
"Our Cibus stacked, non-transgenic traits provide the first real innovation in canola in decades and this agreement is further validation of the value we can bring to markets worldwide," said Peter Beetham, Cibus co-founder and chief executive officer. "We are pleased to work with Valley Oils Partners as our first partner to bring non-GMO, ultra-high-oleic oil to the U.S. market."
Allan Yeap, president of Valley Oils, added: "The oil produced from the ultra-high oleic canola is unique and has exceptional properties making it desirable for use in a wide range of applications, including food production, animal feed, restaurant food frying and as a biorenewable, biodegradable hydraulic oil for trucks and machinery."
Cibus is a global trait producer with technologies to stack multiple traits in a single seed using a non-transgenic process that results in a non-transgenic product. By developing canola seed that is non-transgenic in process and product, Cibus has already demonstrated commercially the ability to command a market premium for its canola, with benefits including reduced dependence on agricultural inputs, improved sustainability, and greater consumer appeal.
As the world's second largest source of protein meal and third largest source of vegetable oil, canola is one of the most valuable crops globally, with $27 billion in annual sales and a multibillion dollar annual seed market.
About Valley Oils Partners
Valley Oils Partners is focused on the development and sale of differentiated, non-GMO specialty vegetable oils, animal meal and associated grain products for use in food, feed, aquaculture and industrial markets. Valley Oils manages its supply chain from seed to oil through partner growers, crushers and distributors, and have significant experience growing crops and producing oil in California.
Cibus is a biotechnology company using advanced technologies to develop desirable plant traits for the global seed industry by precisely editing a plant's genes without the integration of foreign genetic material. This technique accelerates natural breeding that has been a staple of farming for thousands of years and has been classified in certain key agricultural markets as not subject to GMO regulation. Cibus has launched its first commercial canola products, now marketed under the Falco™ brand, and is developing a pipeline of beneficial traits in other crops that it plans to license, including healthier oil quality, disease resistance, and herbicide tolerance. Cibus has established crop platforms in canola, rice, flax, potato, and is now developing platforms in wheat, corn, soybean and peanut. The broad applicability of Cibus' technologies is highlighted by its Nucelis division, which extends the company's trait development program to microorganisms, including yeast, bacteria and algae, for the food, flavor and fragrance and personal care markets. The company has subsidiaries in Europe and North America and a state-of-the-art research and development center in San Diego.