AUM LifeTech announces collaboration with CSU on a DARPA-funded project to develop non-viral, non-GMO RNA-targeting products for sustainable/precision agriculture

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PHILADELPHIA, March 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — AUM LifeTech, Inc. announced a collaboration with Colorado State University (CSU) on a DARPA-funded project using AUM LifeTech’s self-deliverable RNA Silencing FANA Antisense Oligonucleotides (FANA ASO) technology. The award in the amount of US$ 496,965 will be used to develop non-GMO, non-viral RNA-targeting products for advances in agriculture management and improve disease and insect resistance. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is a research and development agency of the United States Department of Defense.   

AUM LifeTech, Inc. (PRNewsfoto/AUM LifeTech, Inc. and AUM BioT)

This DARPA grant will allow us to conduct key studies and help develop new RNA-targeting products for agricultural use

“We are very fortunate to be collaborating with Dr. Todd Gaines at CSU. This DARPA grant will allow us to conduct some key studies and develop innovative RNA-targeting approaches and products for sustainable agriculture,” said Veenu Aishwarya, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AUM LifeTech, Inc. 

“Through this DARPA grant and collaboration with AUM LifeTech, we have the exciting opportunity to develop robust, next-generation RNA silencing pest management tools with improved precision and reduced off-target environmental and health impacts,” said Dr. Todd Gaines who is the PI on this award and Associate Professor at CSU.  “This is the most exciting project I have ever worked on in terms of promise,” Gaines said. “If we can solve this problem, then this will be something every person out there managing weeds will be affected by.”

As a part of this DARPA-funded collaboration, CSU and AUM LifeTech will use FANA ASO based products, which are a certain type of self-delivering RNA silencing products, to target certain genes and achieve loss-of-function via a non-viral mode of action. The goal is to develop a better approach for crop management that can be used to specifically target invasive plants.

“Dr. Gaines’ work in collaboration with AUM LifeTech in RNA targeting to develop next-generation herbicides is an exciting example of CSU’s leadership in life science breakthroughs for agricultural applications,” said Alan Rudolph, Vice President for Research and former Program Manager at DARPA. “The awarding of DARPA funds to address the intractable problem of herbicide resistance speaks to the extraordinary work of Todd and his team in developing new, molecular strategies to combat the worst effects of invasive plant species on our food supply.” 

“Since our gene silencing products use a non-GMO and non-permanent approach, this makes this technology very attractive for such applications in agriculture,” added Aishwarya.

AUM LifeTech is actively looking to expand the use and applications of their RNA targeting technology in agriculture. Interested organizations are encouraged to reach out to AUM LifeTech.

About AUM LifeTech, Inc.

AUM LifeTech is a Philadelphia-based preclinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development of non-viral gene therapy using RNA-targeting therapeutics. The company is utilizing its self-delivering RNA targeting antisense oligonucleotide technology for drug discovery and development for unmet clinical needs with a focus on genetically-defined diseases. AUM LifeTech is also developing non-GMO, non-viral gene silencing products for sustainable and precision agriculture. AUM LifeTech strives to innovate at the genetic level for a better life.  For more information about our vision and mission to help patients globally our pipeline and technology please visit or follow us on LinkedIn.


AUM LifeTech, Inc.

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