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Diversa Adds Ghana and Kenya to Gene Collection Sites

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 23 – Diversa signed biodiversity access and collaboration agreements with Ghana- and Kenya-based organizations, the company announced Tuesday.

The deal with the University of Ghana department of biochemistry and the Kenya Wildlife Service, in partnership with the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology in Kenya, grants San Diego-based Diversa the rights to discover genes and commercialize products from small environmental samples, the company said.

In turn, Diversa will provide the organizations with scientific training, annual research support, and royalties on revenues from products developed under the agreements.

Details about the royalties or amount of scientific and research support were not disclosed.

Diversa has made previous access and development agreements with organizations in  Antarctica, Bermuda, Costa Rica, Ghana, Iceland, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa, according to the company.

“By accessing biodiversity globally,  Diversa  is able to combine discovery of novel genes with laboratory evolution technologies,” Jay Short, CEO of  Diversa, said in a statement . “ Diversa  is targeting high-value product opportunities such as orally active drugs, including new antibiotics and antifungals, as well as novel biocatalysts, all of which can be discovered and developed from small environmental samples using our patented technologies.” 

In September, Diversa and partner Celera completed sequencing the genome of Pyrolobus fumarii , an extremophile that lives in very high temperatures.

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