PlantArcBio Receives USDA/APHIS Regulatory Exemption in the US for its Proprietary HPPD Herbicide-Tolerant Gene for Soybean and Cotton

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GIVAT HEN, Israel, Jan. 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — PlantArcBio (TASE: PLNT) announced today that it received final confirmation that its HPPD herbicide tolerant soybean and cotton products are exempt from USDA regulatory oversight as similar products have already been fully evaluated and deregulated.

Soybean field ripening at spring season, agricultural landscape (PRNewsfoto/PlantArcBio)

This exemption is a significant step for PlantArcBio and for its potential partners, as it dramatically shortens the time and reduces the costs associated with bringing novel HPPD tolerant soybean and cotton solutions to farmers. Without this exemption, the regulatory process could add years and tens of millions USD to commercialize such a product.

“This marks a real regulatory and commercial breakthrough for PlantArcBio, as it is our first gene that will be available for commercial sale in the US,” said Dr. Dror Shalitin, PlantArcBio’s CEO. “We expect that this will bring us new strategic customers who can now improve their seeds using our gene without the need for undergoing a long and costly regulatory process. The gene was discovered using PlantArcBio’s unique gene discovery technology, Direct In Plant (DIP), reinforcing our ability to discover desired traits to enhance yields for some of the world’s major crops.”

Weeds are considered the most notorious pests for crops as they can significantly decrease yield by at least 50%, if not treated. Today many of the major crops, such as corn, soybean, cotton, and canola, possess resistance to herbicides, such as Roundup (Glyphosate), given its overwhelming adoption in countries like North America, South America and Australia. Therefore, use of Roundup herbicide is declining due to the resistance that some weeds have developed to that herbicide after 50 years of use.

Now more than ever, there is an urgent need to find replacement herbicides to control resistant and hard to control weeds, and the HPPD inhibitor herbicides are attractive candidates. These are mainly used today in crops such as corn and rice, which are naturally tolerant.

Once soybean and cotton plants carry PlantArcBio’s discovered gene, they will be resistant to HPPD inhibitor herbicides, and farmers will have the ability to spray and control weeds impacting crop yield.

“PlantArcBio is one of the first companies to achieve a USDA exemption for its novel discovered gene in crops and soon farmers will have a new attractive offering for managing their weeds,” said Limor Davidson Mund Business development Manager at PlantArcBio, “With the successful advancement of our technology, we are now joining large multinational seed companies, Bayer and Syngenta, who previously received regulatory clearance for use of their HPPD tolerance genes in soybean and cotton. Effective and sustainable weed control tools continue to be a critical need in crops, and our novel tool holds great commercial promise in this fight, especially in soybean and cotton.”

According to USDA publications, during 2020, more than 33 million hectares were planted with Soybean in the US, and total value of production was $46.1 billion

Cotton was planted in 4.8 million hectares in 2020, with value of production reaching $4.7 billion.

About PlantArcBio

PlantArcBio Ltd. (TASE: PLNT) is an Ag-biotech company engaged in research and development in the field of gene discovery and biological components to improve plant traits, intended primarily for use in the agricultural industry, with a vision to contribute to global food security and address sustainable agriculture.

Using DIP™ – a unique process it has developed to discover genes that enhance various target traits desired for selected plant varieties – the company detects new genes that have beneficial effects on plants, such as insect resistance, improved yield, drought resistance and herbicide tolerance.

PlantArcBio has a portfolio of products in various stages of research and development, under three product families: (1) Locating genes and influencing them for the development of RNAi-based products (biological molecules), including an RNAi-based solution for pest control and crop enhancement products – an area in which PlantArcBio is one of the leading companies In the world; (2) Discovering genes for the seed industry to enhance traits in plants; (3) Discovering and using genes for the cannabis industry, through possession of the Targene company (together with the cannabis company Seach Medical).

For more details, please check the company’s website: www.plantarcbio.com.

Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information

It will be clarified that the regulatory exemption constitutes an initial milestone for the gene commercialization and there is no certainty in the company’s engagement in commercial collaborations that will mature into sales. Estimates regarding the size of the market and the success of reaching commercial collaborations, including expected payments and royalties, are forward-looking information, within the meaning of the Securities Law. Such assessments are based on estimates and targets as of the date of the report, and may not materialize or materialize in a different (even material) manner than assessed.

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Contact:

Dror Shalitin

CEO

+972-503-161-062

[email protected]

PlantArcBio Logo (PRNewsfoto/PlantArcBio)

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SOURCE PlantArcBio

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