GERMANTOWN, Md. and SAO PAULO, April 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON), a leader in synthetic biology, and FuturaGene Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Suzano Papel e Celulose S.A., the second largest producer of eucalyptus pulp in the world, today announced they have entered into an exclusive collaboration to increase biomass in eucalyptus and poplar trees. FuturaGene has established itself as a leader in the development of sustainable solutions for global forestry, biofuel and agricultural markets through its proficiency in taking optimal traits from discovery to elite event selection in large scale field trials across multiple geographies as well as obtaining regulatory approval for such traits in tree crops. This collaboration will utilize Intrexon's platform to design complex, innovative gene constructs and FuturaGene's expertise in plant yield enhancement to cultivate improved qualities in eucalyptus, the second most widely used species in the paper and pulp industry, as well as in poplar trees.
"With Intrexon, we share a common vision to drive sustainable agriculture through continuous improvement and protection of crop yield to maximize output while minimizing inputs such as land, water, and fertilizer," said Stanley Hirsch, D.Phil., Group Chief Executive Officer of FuturaGene. "Intrexon's technology suite can help accelerate future product development in the biological engineering of a variety of species in the forestry space, and we look forward to working with them."
In a world of precious natural resources, producing more wood sustainably without degrading the environment is a global challenge. Classic selective breeding for particular genetic traits to enhance yield has reached a point of diminishing returns in many domesticated species. The engineering of biological solutions across multiple plantation forest species has demonstrated the potential to facilitate faster growth, augment biomass, advance fiber properties, increase output potential of planted acreage, reduce the cost of wood production, and improve industrial processability of crops.
FuturaGene's efforts have focused on eucalyptus and poplar given their importance in established industries such as paper and pulp and their emerging potential in the biopower and biofuel markets. In April 2015, FuturaGene became the first company worldwide to receive commercial approval of a yield enhanced genetically modified (GM) eucalyptus variety from the Brazilian National Technical Biosafety Commission (CTNBio). Furthermore, FuturaGene is the first foreign company to initiate GM plant trials in China where it is developing enhanced poplar trees.
"FuturaGene's approval from CTNBio further positions the company at the leading edge of the forestry industry and we congratulate them on this recent success," stated Nir Nimrodi, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Head of Intrexon's Environment Sector. "Together our collaboration has the potential to provide meaningful progress toward developing unique attributes and agronomic properties in plant species of economic and environmental importance."
Under the terms of the agreement, Intrexon will receive royalties of gross profits, which are subject to increase if it elects to participate in funding development, for each product produced through the collaboration.
About Intrexon Corporation
Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON) is a leader in synthetic biology focused on collaborating with companies in Health, Food, Energy, Environment, and Consumer sectors to create biologically-based products that improve the quality of life and the health of the planet. Through the company's proprietary UltraVector® platform and integrated technology suite, Intrexon provides its partners with industrial-scale design and development of complex biological systems delivering unprecedented control, quality, function, and performance of living cells. We call our synthetic biology approach Better DNA®, and we invite you to discover more at www.dna.com.
FuturaGene is a leader in plant genetic research and development for the global forestry, biopower and biofuel markets. With facilities in Brazil, China and Israel, the company develops sustainable, ecologically sound technology to meet the ever increasing demands for fiber, fuel and energy crops in the face of declining land and water resources. In April 2015, FuturaGene became the first company in the world to obtain regulatory approval to commercially deploy a yield enhanced genetically modified eucalyptus variety. Since July 2010, FuturaGene has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Suzano Pulp and Paper, a leading integrated forestry, pulp and paper company in Brazil. For more information, visit www.futuragene.com.
Intrexon, UltraVector, LEAP and Better DNA are trademarks of Intrexon and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.
Safe Harbor Statement
Some of the statements made in this press release are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon our current expectations and projections about future events and generally relate to our plans, objectives and expectations for the development of our business. Although management believes that the plans and objectives reflected in or suggested by these forward-looking statements are reasonable, all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and actual future results may be materially different from the plans, objectives and expectations expressed in this press release.
For more information contact:
Intrexon Corporation Contacts:
Marie Rossi, Ph.D.
Senior Manager, Technical Communications
Tel: +1 (301) 556-9850
Vice President, Investor Relations
Tel: +1 (561) 410-7052
Sara El Kadri
Communications and Public Relations, FuturaGene
Tel: +55 19 2108 3563
SOURCE Intrexon Corporation