INDIANAPOLIS, and RICHMOND, Calif., Feb. 12 DowAgroSciences LLC and Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: SGMO) today announcedthe successful completion of a key research milestone as part of their jointResearch and Commercial License Agreement. This milestone represents thesuccessful application of Sangamo's zinc finger DNA-binding protein nuclease(ZFN(TM)) technology in precision genome editing of a native plant gene withthe aim of improving a valuable trait in canola, a crop central to DowAgroSciences' business.
"It is my pleasure to announce we have achieved another significantmilestone in the validation of zinc finger protein capabilities in plants,"stated Jerome Peribere, the president and CEO of Dow AgroSciences, during hispresentation at the Goldman Sachs Twelfth Annual Agricultural Biotech Forum."We have demonstrated the robust utility and flexibility of the Sangamotechnology in precision editing of a native plant gene, confirming the powerof zinc finger proteins to accomplish specific and targeted modifications ofthe plant's own genetic sequence. The technology shows potential to enable thedelivery of 'designer' crops into new and existing markets."
The milestone is the first demonstration of the precise modification ofthe DNA sequence of an existing gene in canola designed to generate animproved trait. This further demonstrates the ability of ZFNs to act at theirintended target in crops of commercial importance.
"Sangamo's technology is revolutionizing scientists' ability to modifygenes in cells. The power of the ZFP platform is being harnessed by Sangamo intherapeutics, our partner Sigma-Aldrich in research reagents, and, as we heardtoday, by Dow AgroSciences in plant agriculture to positively effect changesin plant genomes at a speed, efficiency, and specificity which heretofore wasonly considered a dream," said Edward Lanphier, Sangamo's president and CEO."Dow AgroSciences has the expertise to implement our technology successfullyinto its precision trait development program."
The three-year agreement initiated October 2005 provides Dow AgroScienceswith access to Sangamo's proprietary ZFP technology for the development ofproducts in plants and plant cell cultures. During the initial three-yearresearch term, Dow AgroSciences has the option to obtain a commercial licenseto sell products incorporating or derived from plant cells generated usingSangamo's ZFP technology, including agricultural crops, industrial productsand plant-derived biopharmaceuticals.
Sangamo has also developed sequence-specific ZFNs for precision genemodification and targeted gene insertion. These technologies have thepotential to play a major role in bringing new discoveries in genomics forwardto the marketplace. The use of Sangamo's ZFP technology to enable theefficient and reproducible generation of combinations or stacks of multipletraits and the insertion of new traits could address increasing demand.
About Dow AgroSciences LLC
Dow AgroSciences LLC, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, is a top-tieragricultural company that combines the power of science and technology withthe "Human Element" to constantly improve what is essential to human progress.Dow AgroSciences provides innovative technologies for crop protection, pestand vegetation management, seeds, traits, and agricultural biotechnology toserve the world's growing population. Global sales for Dow AgroSciences, awholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, are $3.8 billion. Learnmore at http://www.dowagro.com.
About Sangamo BioSciences, Inc.
Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. is focused on the research and development ofnovel DNA-binding proteins for therapeutic gene regulation and modification.The most advanced ZFP Therapeutic(TM) development program is currently inPhase 2 clinical trials for evaluation of safety and clinical effect inpatients with diab