- ISRAEL21c - http://www.israel21c.org -
Evogene developing broad range of new plant technologies
Posted By ISRAEL21c Staff On October 28, 2002 @ 12:00 am In | 1 Comment
An Israeli company is working on technology that would use techniques that are largely considered safe to create new varieties of tomatoes, rice and corn that would better serve the needs of food processors worldwide.
Rehovot-based Evogene is working on a sweeter tomato that would save manufacturers in the $21 billion a year ketchup industry from adding sugar during the production process.
Sweeter tomatoes and foods with enriched vitamins and minerals through bioengineering are nothing new, but Evogene, a subsidiary of the Israeli biopharmaceuticals firm Compugen, says it is using different techniques than the previous crop of agricultural biotechnology companies. The company is transferring genes between plants in the same family rather using transgenics, which involves transferring genes from one plant to another.
Transgenics has raised strong opposition in the past from some environmental groups that fear the creation of plants that will produce unsafe foods and damage the environment. Outcry from these groups has hampered the prospects of some agricultural biotechnology companies.
Evogene’s founders say that some of the other advantages of the company’s technologies include improved capability to discover genes and DNA regulatory elements in plants; the ability to generate computer predictions of the genetic behavior in the plants before the actual stage of an experiment; the development of mechanisms in the genomic and molecular field that allow Evogene to insert large quantities of genes and DREs into plants, which then express the gene’s behavior and can be examined.
The company is experimenting in a broad range of other areas in an effort to meet a host of markets for modified plants:
So far, the company has been financed entirely by Compugen, but Ofer Haviv, Evogene’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer, said that about a month ago the company began a round of financing in the hope of raising $5 million to $7.5 million from venture capital funds in Israel and around the world.
The effort is being spearheaded by Evogene’s management, assisted by an advisory board that includes Compugen Chairman Martin Gerstel and former Compugen Chairman David Haselkorn, who is chief executive of Clal Biotechnology Industries and is on Compugen’s board of directors.
Article printed from ISRAEL21c: http://www.israel21c.org
URL to article: http://www.israel21c.org/technology/evogene-developing-broad-range-of-new-plant-technologies/
Copyright © 2012 Israel. All rights reserved.