October 19, 2017

DuPont Pioneer Expands CRISPR-Cas9 Patent Portfolio with License from Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

DuPont Pioneer announced that it has reached a non-exclusive global licensing agreement for CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology in agriculture with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

The Broad Institute is a world leader in the development of CRISPR gene-editing technologies and holds several issued U.S. patents covering CRISPR-Cas technology. DuPont Pioneer, a business unit of the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™, has been an early adopter and a leading developer of CRISPR-Cas technology for agricultural applications and is on track to commercialize a next generation of waxy corn products by 2019, pending field trials and applicable regulatory reviews.

“The CRISPR-Cas9 license from the Broad Institute complements our ongoing technology toolbox, which we are deploying to develop products for the benefit of farmers and consumers alike,” said Neal Gutterson, vice president, Research & Development for DuPont Pioneer. “We are further committed to collaborating with others to realize the full potential of CRISPR technology for agriculture.”

“Genome-editing techniques present precise ways to dramatically improve the scale and discovery efficiency of new research that can improve human health and global agriculture,” said Issi Rozen, chief business officer of the Broad Institute. “We are encouraged to see these tools being used to help deliver responsible solutions in agriculture to help meet the demands of our growing population.”

The licensing agreement with the Broad Institute is in addition to DuPont Pioneer’s proprietary and previously in-licensed CRISPR-Cas IP, including from ERS Genomics, Caribou Biosciences and Vilnius University, covering a comprehensive patent estate.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

DuPont Pioneer is applying CRISPR-Cas as an advanced plant breeding tool to develop seed products for greater environmental resiliency, productivity and sustainability and has defined it as a set of CRISPR-Cas guiding principles.

Learn more about CRISPR-Cas in agriculture at http://crisprcas.pioneer.com.

About DuPont Pioneer
DuPont Pioneer, a business unit of DowDuPont Agriculture Division, is the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering Success®.

About DowDuPont Agriculture Division
DowDuPont Agriculture, a business division of DowDuPont (NYSE: DWDP), combines the strengths of DuPont Pioneer, DuPont Crop Protection and Dow AgroSciences. Together, the Agriculture division provides growers around the world with the most complete portfolio in the industry, developed through a robust research pipeline across germplasm, biotech traits and crop protection. DowDuPont Agriculture is committed to delivering innovation, helping growers increase productivity and ensuring food security for a growing global population. DowDuPont intends to separate the Agriculture division into an independent, publicly traded company.


South Dakota State Fair Sees Increased Attendance in 2017

 The 2017 South Dakota State Fair saw increased numbers with 211,843 attending the five-day event. Attendance was up slightly from last year and the highest number on record since 1996, when the fair was seven days long. 

 “I credit the rise to not only increased camping numbers and a solid grandstand lineup, but also the fact that we had a well-rounded fair that made South Dakotans want to come take in a day or two. Plus, our exhibitor numbers were strong,” commented Peggy Besch, South Dakota State Fair manager. “It’s exciting to see shoulder-to-shoulder crowds during the fair. We are proud of the fact that we had a strong fair and were able to post increases in various areas.”

 The South Dakota State Fair hosted 1,955 campers, resulting in an increase in camping revenue by 6.6 percent.

 Other increases include a 20 percent increase in grandstand tickets sold and a 25 percent increase in grandstand ticket revenue. Carnival revenue was up by 4.7 percent. Total revenue for the South Dakota State Fair was up by over $200,000.

 Youth participation at the South Dakota State Fair increased as 4-H static exhibits were up by 6.4 percent, 4-H livestock exhibits were up 2.8 percent and FFA entries were up 3.7 percent.

The 2017 SD State Fair ran from Thursday, Aug. 31, through Monday, Sept. 4. Channel Seeds Preview night was Wednesday, Aug. 30. This year’s theme was “Seriously Twisted Fun.” The 2018 SD State Fair is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 30 – Monday, Sept. 3. For more information on State Fair events, contact the Fair office at 800-529-0900, visit www.sdstatefair.com or find them on Facebook or Twitter.


Iowa Leaders Call on EPA to Reverse Course on Threats Against Biofuels

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg today joined leaders from across the state to voice their concerns about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) consideration of proposals to undermine the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), reduce federal biofuel targets, and threaten rural jobs. The duo hosted a press conference at Pella, Iowa’s Two Rivers Cooperative alongside Monte Shaw, Executive Director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Grant Kimberley, Executive Director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, and Dennis Bogaards, a soybean and corn farmer in the Pella community.

“The purpose of the Renewable Fuel Standard is to grow demand for biofuel while driving the industry to innovate,” said Governor Reynolds, who recently spearheaded a letter on biofuels to the EPA from four Midwestern governors. “Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposals seem to take us backward, not forward. While I have appreciated the accessibility of the EPA and have had many positive conversations about the RFS, I have some significant concerns with the direction the agency appears to be taking.”

“The proposed contraction of the RFS threatens thousands of Iowa farmers and workers who rely on biofuels to support their livelihood,” added Lieutenant Governor Gregg.

“President Trump vowed to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said Monte Shaw, Executive Director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, which is also unveiling a new study on the economic and employment contributions of biofuels in Iowa. “But today, the EPA is considering schemes to cut corn ethanol, biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol. EPA Administrator Pruitt has made clear he is not interested in implementing the spirit of the RFS. Folks in rural America are upset and feel betrayed. Their message is clear:  President Trump must take action to put the EPA back on track and not allow the RFS to be systematically destroyed.  One path leads to hope for the heartland.  The other leads to rural economic ruin and a breach of trust that will not be repaired.”

“The RFS is a vital policy that has fostered investments across every segment of the rural economy, from farming to manufacturing,” said Delayne D. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Iowa’s Quad County Corn Processors, which has pioneered technology to convert agricultural residue, namely corn kernel fiber, into cellulosic biofuels. “Cellulosic biofuels are poised to drive a wave of manufacturing investments across the heartland of the United States. The White House needs to remind the EPA that undermining the RFS sends a terrible signal to investors that America is not interested in leading the world in energy innovation.”

The RFS is America’s most successful energy policy, working for the past 12 years to provide consumers with cleaner, more affordable options at the pump while reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil. Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst recently outlined their opposition to the proposed cuts in a bipartisan letter signed by 38 U.S. Senators.

About Fuels America Fuels America is a coalition of organizations committed to protecting America’s Renewable Fuel Standard and promoting the benefits of all types of renewable fuel already growing in America. Fuels America is founded on a simple core principle: Renewable fuel is good for the U.S. economy, for our nation’s energy security, and for the environment. For more information, please visit us at www.fuelsamerica.org.