Biotech Updates

Origin Agritech Gets Glyphosate Gene Deal

September 18, 2009

China-based Origin Agritech Ltd. announced that it has reached an agreement with the Chinese Academy of Sciences' (CAS) Institute of Microbiology and the Sichuan Biotech Engineering Ltd. regarding a novel glyphosate tolerance gene. China's third largest seed company was granted exclusive, global rights to sell and develop corn, soybean, rice, cotton and canola products that contain the gene. According to a press release, the gene has been found effective in both laboratory and field environments.

Products that contain the novel glyphosate-resistance gene would compete with Monsanto's Roundup Ready Crops, which were planted on almost 250 million acres worldwide in 2008.

Bloomberg news reported that a corn variety containing the herbicide-tolerance gene is currently in the third phase of China's five-step approval process. Irving Kau, Origin's vice president for finance, told the news agency that the company is anticipating late 2010 or 2011 approval. Origin plans to start commercial sales of the GM corn at 500,000 acres, rising to 3 million to 5 million acres in the following years.

The press release is available at Read the article published by Bloomberg at