Trait Product Pipeline
Our Trait Product Pipeline integrates Cibus’ Crop Platforms in Canola, Rice, Soybean, Wheat and Corn with our Trait Platforms for Weeds, Disease, Insects and Agronomy.
Crop Protection Trait products are category and crop specific. We develop specific traits in specific crops to address specific challenges faced by farmers. In each crop, our trait products are focused on the primary challenges of the crop protection industry for each crop. In addition, our products are focused on traits that can help reduce fertilizer use and address certain agronomic challenges.
Our trait product breeding programs are based on building crop specific RTDS technology platforms for each crop. Our initial trait products are expected to be in canola, rice and soybean as we have established RTDS Crop Platforms in canola and rice and expect to have successfully developed our RTDS soybean platform by year end 2022. We expect our wheat platform to be completed by year end 2023; and our corn platform by 2025.
Our Initial Trait Products
Canola was the first crop for which we successfully implemented of our RTDS breeding platform. Because of this, canola is the first crop for which we have built an integrated family of Crop Protection Traits for a single crop platform. We have our lead trait, Pod Shatter Reduction, as well as two traits in late-stage development for Sclerotinia (white mold disease) resistance and an herbicide tolerance trait.
Canola/Oilseed Rape is an approximately 40-million-acre market that is split between North America and Europe. Regulatorily, both the United States and Canada have developed regulations that consider the new gene editing technologies similarly to conventional breeding. Europe still regulates gene editing as GMO but recently published a study favoring new regulations to treat new gene editing technologies similarly to conventional breeding. If it happens, it is expected that new regulations would take approximately three years.
Pod Shatter Reduction (PSR)
PSR is our lead Cibus Powered™ trait product. We have had several successful field trials and agreements with several leading seed companies both in North America as well as in Europe. We expect it to be launched commercially in Canada by 2025. If the EU changes their regulations, we expect to be able to launch in the EU by 2027.
We are very encouraged by our initial greenhouse trials for a gene edited herbicide tolerance trait for Canola/Oilseed Rape. This is an important component of our family of canola traits. We believe that it will be particularly important in Europe where there are no herbicide tolerance traits.
We are very encouraged by our initial field trials for our initial trait for Sclerotinia (white mold) resistance in canola and winter oilseed rape. This is particularly important because, if successful, we believe it will be the first commercially available gene edited trait for disease in any crop. Together, with Pod Shatter Reduction and our herbicide tolerance trait, we are excited to have a family of traits available to the canola industry.
Nitrogen Use Efficiency
We are in early discovery stage towards a trait for nitrogen use efficiency in canola and expect to advance this trait to greenhouse and field trials by the mid-2020s.
Our herbicide tolerant and disease resistant traits in our canola pipeline have been filed and cleared by USDA APHIS “Am I Regulated” process. (https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/biotechnology/am-i-regulated) and will be regulated in the US as products from traditional breeding.
Rice is the second crop for which we successfully implemented of our RTDS breeding platform. It is an important crop for gene editing because it is one of the many major crops for which there were no GMO traits. We believe that our work in developing a RTDS cell biology platform for rice is transformational. It will enable us to develop a family of important Crop Protection Traits for rice. We believe we will soon have developed traits both in herbicide tolerance and disease, two important areas for crop protection for rice.
We are very encouraged by our initial field trials and greenhouse trials for our first two herbicide tolerance traits for rice. We expect the first herbicide tolerance trait in rice to be ready for commercial development in North America by year end 2021 with the second herbicide tolerance trait entering field trials soon after.
We are in the early discovery stage for a disease resistance trait in rice and expect to have field trials by mid-2020s. Disease resistance is an incredibly important need for rice farmers that may avoid multiple fungicide applications per year.
Nitrogen Use Efficiency
We are in the early discovery stage towards a trait for nitrogen use efficiency in rice that we expect to have in field trials by the mid 2020s.
Each of the herbicide traits in our rice pipeline have been filed and cleared by USDA APHIS “Am I Regulated” process. (https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/biotechnology/am-i-regulated) and will be regulated in the US as products from traditional breeding.
We are in final stages of completing our RTDS breeding platform for soybean. We expect to be developed by year end 2022. Once established, we will start the development process for our family of gene edited traits in soybean. We plan to lead with the development of a disease resistance and an herbicide tolerance trait similar to our trait family for canola. We expect to have each available by mid-2020s. In addition, in soybean we are planning a trait for nematode resistance. This is a much-needed trait for soybean for which there are no alternatives other than chemicals.
We expect to have our RTDS breeding platform in wheat developed by 2023. Once established, we expect to develop a family of traits for wheat focusing initially on disease resistance and nitrogen use efficiency. Nitrogen use efficiency is a need in many crops, but particularly in the large acreage crops like wheat and corn it has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of the crop while offering better yield with similar fertilization. In addition, we expect to develop herbicide resistance traits in wheat for weed control.
We expect to have our RTDS platform for corn developed by 2025. Once established, we expect to develop a family of traits for corn focusing initially on a trait for disease tolerance and nitrogen use efficiency. Nitrogen use efficiency is a need in many crops, but particularly in the large acreage crops like wheat and corn it has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of the crop while offering better yield with similar fertilization. Corn in particular is a high user of nitrogen so a trait offering more efficient use can provide a lot of value to farmers. In addition, we expect to develop herbicide tolerance traits in corn for weed control.