Positive response from USDA on regulatory status using GEiGS®

Potato row crop plantation - GEiGS Technology


Tropic Biosciences Obtains Positive Response from USDA-APHIS on Regulatory Status of a Product Developed Using its GEiGS® (Gene Editing Induced Gene Silencing) Technology

Tropic Biosciences (“Tropic”), a pioneering agricultural-biotechnology company dedicated to the development of high-performance tropical crops, announced today that it has received confirmation that potatoes with reduced browning, developed by GEiGS®-mediated silencing of polyphenol oxidase-5 (Ppo5) transcripts, were determined to be exempted from regulation by the USDA. Tropic made a submission to the USDA requesting confirmation of regulatory status for this product in May 2021.  The USDA-APHIS response indicated that the plant lines do not meet the definition of a regulated article under 7 CFR Part 340 regulations. Tropic’s submission along with the USDA-APHIS BRS response is posted on the USDA’s website.

“This is the first regulatory assessment of a product based on our proprietary GEiGS® technology and the confirmation that this product is not regulated by USDA is an important step in bringing our crop products to market”, said Gilad Gershon, CEO of Tropic Biosciences.

Tropic Biosciences is using GEiGS® to develop valuable traits in banana, coffee and rice. As an example, GEiGS® enables Tropic Biosciences to develop novel banana varieties that are resistant to Panama Disease (TR4), a devastating fungal disease that threatens global banana production. Tropic Biosciences has also entered into licensing agreements with multiple leading global agribusinesses enabling them to use the platform to develop disease resistance, quality and welfare traits across crop, livestock and aquaculture species.


About Tropic Biosciences

Tropic Biosciences is one of the leading agricultural gene-editing companies globally, and focuses on the development and commercialization of high-performing varieties of tropical crops, namely coffee, bananas and rice. It employs over 110 industry-leading professionals and is headquartered at the renowned Norwich Research Park.

For more information please visit www.tropicbioscience.com


About GEiGS®

GEiGS® (Gene Editing induced Gene Silencing) technology utilizes established genome editing tools (e.g. CRISPR, TALEN) to make precise and specific changes to only a few nucleotides within non-coding genes of a host organism. These changes redirect RNA interference (RNAi, also Gene Silencing) activity of non-coding genes towards desired target genes, suppressing their activity.

Target genes can include the host’s own genes, or gene-families, to finely tune their expression to a new desired level. Further, GEiGS® can be used to activate defense against pathogens and pests (e.g. viruses and fungi) by redirecting RNAi activity towards pathogen and pest genes. GEiGS® does not depend on the introduction of foreign genes into the host genome, and thus the approach will be considered as non-GMO in multiple regions.

Key benefits of GEiGS®

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    Precise, predictable, and stable tuning of target gene expression

    By redirecting the silencing activity of the host’s own non-coding genes, GEiGS® introduces novel RNAi activity with highly programmable potency and tissue specificity. This elegant approach requires only minimal changes to the host’s genome (less than 20 nucleotides), thus avoiding transcriptional gene silencing and allowing for highly stable RNAi activity over time and across generations.

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    Accelerated development of critical disease and pest resistance traits

    GEiGS® can be used to redirect the silencing activity of the host’s native non-coding genes towards well characterized and highly conserved viral, fungal or pest genes. This distinctly direct approach significantly accelerates product development time while minimizing pleiotropic effects associated with editing the host’s coding genes.

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    Favourable regulatory classification in multiple markets

    GEiGS® technology does not involve the insertion of DNA sequences from other organisms (‘Foreign DNA’) into the host genome and does not impact the sequence of proteins. These factors allow for a non-GM classification in multiple major markets and a more streamlined regulatory approval process.

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    Universal platform that works with existing gene editing tools

    GEiGS® is not dependent on any one specific gene editing tool, but instead can be deployed by using a broad range of different nucleases. This provides the user with freedom to choose which gene editing tools they use to implement GEiGS® edits – tools that may already be applied in their existing pipelines.

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How our users benefit from using the GEiGS® platform

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Access the GEiGS® platform

We collaborate with world-leading companies and academic institutions, enabling them to access our pioneering GEiGS® technology to address some of the most pressing agricultural production challenges.

Contact us today to discuss GEiGS® licensing and service options and join us in driving innovation forward.

geigs@tropic.bio +44 (0)1603 274441