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Precision Bio, Nova Synthetix to Collaborate on Ricin-Free Castor Plant Development

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Precision BioSciences and Nova Synthetix today announced a deal for the use of each other's technologies to generate "non-GM," ricin-free castor plants.

Precision Bio's Directed Nuclease Editor gene editing technology and Nova's proprietary plant transformation system will be used in work covered by the agreement. The DNE technology produces genome-editing enzymes that can "insert, remove, modify, and regulate essentially any gene in mammalian or plant cells," the firms noted in a statement.

The companies also plan to generate improved castor variants "capable of producing user-defined oil profiles for industrial, biofuel, and feed-directed applications," they said. The effort is anticipated to produce a castor plant that is safer and has greater market use.

Financial and other terms were not disclosed.

"This effort presents the opportunity to combine both companies' [technologies] to create crop varieties with superior genetics for all sorts of industrial and food applications," said Nova President Don Walters.

Earlier in the week Precision Bio announced a deal with Agrivida for use of the Directed Nuclease Editor technology aimed at corn.