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Exelixis Plant Sciences Wins SBIR Grant to Study Rice

NEW YORK, Sept. 24 – A business unit of Exelixis has won a Small Business Innovation Research grant to help it identify novel genes in rice that ultimately may help producers increase their yield of the crop.

The Phase I grant, in the amount of $100,000, will allow Exelixis Plant Sciences to use its ACTTAG gene activation technology to study genetic variations in rice believed to regulate the grain’s resistance to stress and certain diseases, the company said in a statement.

The company’s ACTTAG technology, “coupled with our product development expertise in plants … brings Exelixis much closer to our goal of making significant improvements in major crop species and crop protection methods,” George A. Scangos, president and CEO of the parent company, said in the statement.

Last month, South San Francisco, Calif.-based Exelixis marked its first chemistry deal after it partnered with Elan Pharmaceuticals to develop a compound library.

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