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Crop Biotech Update

Technology Developers Share Commercialization Experiences with Filipino Scientists

August 25, 2021

A total of 68 participants, mostly technology developers from the Philippines, tuned in to ISAAA's latest webinar on genome editing on August 24, 2021.

The webinar is the fourth of a series of webinars of the Biotech Outreach Program for the Philippines 2021 which is hosted by ISAAA, in partnership with the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS) Manila. The series focuses on the current developments in research, policies, and prospects of gene editing both in the global and local scenario, and is intended for stakeholders in the Philippines. Previous episodes were joined by members of the House of Representatives, the Judiciary, and regulators who were all willing to listen and learn about the importance and potentials of gene editing for the country.

Dr. Chloe Pavely, Global Regulatory Director at Calyxt, was the first speaker of the webinar. Calyxt, a US-based company that uses its advanced plant biotechnology platform to develop high-value sustainable plant products, is the developer of the CalynoTM soybean oil, the first gene-edited food for consumers in the US that was released in May 2019. Dr. Pavely shared with the audience the steps that the company took, both research- and regulatory-wise, to bring CalynoTM into the market. Her presentation also provided an overview of the international genome-editing status in terms of research and regulatory policies.

The Philippine scenario, on the other hand, was presented by Dr. Reynante Ordonio of the Philippine Rice Research Institute. Dr. Ordonio presented various research in the Philippines that involve genome editing. He also presented the highlights of the drafted regulatory policy of the country for plant breeding innovations, including genome editing.

The experiences shared to the audience by both scientists resulted in interesting questions during the open discussion, in which details about the regulatory policies and framework were the main focus. Also, questions about what was required of them by their respective regulators and how they were able to provide the necessary data during the assessment were addressed. Overall, the exchange of information allowed the audience to prepare themselves for what may be requested from them by the regulators should it be their turn to bring a modern biotech product into the market. Likewise, some members of the audience who are regulators were also able to take note of how to efficiently assess a product while still addressing the risk and safety needs as required by policy.

The webinar was moderated by Ms. Kristine Grace N. Tome, Program Associate of ISAAA Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology. The opening remarks were delivered by Ms. Florence Sevilla of the USDA FAS Manila, while ISAAA SEAsiaCenter Director Dr. Rhodora Romero-Aldemita gave the closing remarks. The next webinar of the series will be on September 8, 2021, and is intended for the general public. To know how to register to watch it, contact knowledgecenter@isaaa.org, or stay updated by following ISAAA.org on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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