Dow AgroSciences Will Sublicense Sangamo's Technology in Plant Agriculture
Under the Trademark EXZACT(TM) Precision Traits
SAN DIEGO, June 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Dow AgroSciences LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW), announced today at the 2008 BIO International Convention that it has exercised its option to obtain a commercial license to zinc finger technology from Richmond, Calif.-based Sangamo BioSciences (Nasdaq: SGMO). The license allows Dow AgroSciences to commercialize products incorporating or developed from plant cells using Sangamo's zinc finger DNA-binding protein (ZFP(TM)) technology, in agricultural crops, industrial products and plant-derived biopharmaceuticals. Sangamo and Dow AgroSciences have been collaborating in research to apply ZFP technology to plants under a three-year research and commercial license option agreement initiated in October 2005. Dow AgroSciences exercised its commercial option four months before expiration of the option period.
Dow AgroSciences and Sangamo BioSciences will host a media briefing at 2:00 p.m. (PT) at the 2008 BIO International Convention in San Diego. Sangamo will host live webcast of the briefing which may be accessed via a link on the Sangamo BioSciences Web site in the Investor Relations section http://investor.sangamo.com/index.cfm under Events and Presentations. The web cast will be archived on the Sangamo Web site after the event.
"We determined that we could exercise the option early in light of the tremendous success of the research program in plants," said Jerome Peribere, president and CEO of Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences. "The next generation of plant genetic improvement will successfully bring new products to market by reducing complexity and cutting the development time by one to two years. The ZFP technology is unique because it allows for precise gene modification and is widely applicable and extremely adaptable. It has the potential to revolutionize agricultural biotechnology and fundamentally change our industry."
In addition to developing its own new products using the ZFP technology, Dow AgroSciences will sublicense the technology to third parties for development of particular products under the trademark name of EXZACT(TM) Precision Traits. The trademark name emphasizes the specificity and the precision of the technology. It can be used with precision to add new genetic material, delete genes altogether and even regulate or edit native genes.
"This is a very proud and important day for Sangamo BioSciences," stated Edward Lanphier, Sangamo's president and CEO. "With the expertise and vision of the Dow AgroSciences team we have collectively demonstrated that our ZFP technology provides a broad and robust platform for the development of new foods, feeds, fibers and fuels. The application of zinc fingers to improve food quality and quantity on less land and in a sustainable manner is a cause to which we can now significantly contribute. The list of traits that can be generated quickly and precisely with zinc fingers is virtually limitless, and some of the first under consideration for development include: healthier cooking oils and many other improvements in nutritional content; resistance to a broad range of insect pests and diseases; enhanced photosynthetic efficiency and overall yields; as well as plants custom-engineered for the biofuels industry."
ZFPs are the dominant class of naturally occurring transcription factors in organisms from yeast to humans. Transcription factors, which are found in the nucleus of every cell, bind to DNA to regulate gene expression. The ability to selectively control specific genes is emerging as a critical tool in modern biotechnology. Though there are many kinds of transcription factors, only ZFPs are amenable to engineering and precise targeting to a particular gene or genes of interest.
Sangamo BioSciences and Dow AgroSciences have demonstrated the utility of ZFP transcription factors for the control of gene expression in plants and the utility of ZFP nucleases for precision gene modification and targeted gene insertion in plants. These technologies have the potential to play a major role in bringing new discoveries in genomics forward to the marketplace. The use of Sangamo's ZFP technology to enable the efficient and reproducible generation of combinations or stacks of multiple traits and the insertion of new traits could address increasing demand for crops for food and fuel.
About Dow AgroSciences LLC
Dow AgroSciences LLC (NYSE: DOW), based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, is a top-tier agricultural company that combines the power of science and technology with the "Human Element" to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. Dow AgroSciences provides innovative technologies for crop protection, pest and vegetation management, seeds, traits, and agricultural biotechnology to serve the world's growing population. Global sales for Dow AgroSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, are $3.8 billion. Learn more at http://www.dowagro.com.
About Sangamo BioSciences
Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGMO) is focused on the research and development of novel DNA-binding proteins for therapeutic gene regulation and modification. The most advanced ZFP Therapeutic(TM) development program is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials for evaluation of safety and clinical effect in patients with diabetic neuropathy. Phase 1 clinical trials are ongoing to evaluate a ZFP Therapeutic for peripheral artery disease. Other therapeutic development programs are focused on stem cell mobilization, ALS, cancer, HIV/AIDS, neuropathic pain, nerve regeneration, Parkinson's disease and monogenic diseases. Sangamo's core competencies enable the engineering of a class of DNA-binding proteins known as zinc finger DNA-binding proteins (ZFPs). By engineering ZFPs that recognize a specific DNA sequence Sangamo has created ZFP transcription factors (ZFP TF(TM)) that can control gene expression and, consequently, cell function. Sangamo is also developing sequence-specific ZFP Nucleases (ZFN(TM)) for gene modification. Sangamo has established strategic partnerships with companies outside of the human therapeutic space including Dow AgroSciences, Sigma-Aldrich Corporation and several companies applying its ZFP Technology to enhance the production of protein pharmaceuticals. For more information about Sangamo, visit the company's web site at http://www.sangamo.com
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on Dow AgroSciences LLC and Sangamo BioSciences, Inc.'s current expectations. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, references to the development of new products by Dow AgroSciences using Sangamo's ZFP technology and the sublicense of ZFP technology to third parties. Actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including technological challenges, Dow AgroSciences ability to develop commercially viable products and technological developments by our competitors. See Sangamo's SEC filings, and in particular, the risk factors described in Sangamo's Annual Report on Form 10-K and its most recent Report on Form 10-Q. Dow AgroSciences and Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. assume no obligation to update the forward-looking information contained in this press release.
ZFP(TM)/ZFP TF(TM), ZFP Therapeutic(TM) and ZFN(TM) are all trademarks of Sangamo Biosciences, Inc.
EXZACT(TM) Precision Traits is a trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC
About the EXZACT(TM) Precision Traits Trademark
The trademark name emphasizes the specificity and the precision of the technology. It can be used with precision to add new genetic material, delete genes altogether and even regulate or edit native genes. The "Z" signifies the importance of the key component -- ZFPs -- of the technology. The "green" that links the "X" for precision with the "T" for traits contains a transparent "arrow" which signifies the potential use of EXZACT(TM) Precision Trait Technology to develop products which contain no foreign DNA.
|SOURCE Sangamo BioSciences, Inc.|
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