Cibus Global, Ltd., a technology firm and leader in the area of gene editing, has acquired the remaining interest in Nucelis Inc. The announcement was made by Cibus CEO and President Keith Walker. Nucelis, which had been established as an independent entity in December 2010, will now become an independent operating unit of Cibus, which employs approximately 100 people worldwide, and also includes Cibus US LLC and Cibus Europe B.V. Nucelis CEO and President Sean O’Connor will continue to lead the Nucelis operating unit as its CEO and will join the Cibus executive management team as a Senior Vice President of Cibus. Nucelis will continue to be the exclusive licensee to Cibus’ Rapid Trait Development System (RTDS) technology in its key product areas of fermentation and bio-based chemicals.
“Cibus’ acquisition of the outstanding equity in Nucelis consolidates the innovative capabilities of the RTDS technology under a single entity. This synergy will enable greater opportunities to develop novel traits and products for a broader range of applications,” Walker said. “The RTDS technology has achieved significant advancements, and the company is now poised to make meaningful progress with agricultural, biomedical and industrial traits.”
“Nucelis is looking forward to enhanced access to Cibus’ significant technical capabilities and resources from this partnership. The merger will allow us to accelerate commercialization from our product platforms using RTDS technology which will flourish in a global community concerned about sustainability,” O’Connor said.
Cibus was founded with the vision of developing precision gene editing systems, led by its non-transgenic RTDS technology. This technology fulfills the promise of beneficial change in the development of agricultural, biomedical and industrial traits. Cibus US LLC will be launching its first product, Sulphonylurea tolerant (SU) canola, in 2014. Cibus is privately held by a committed group of investors who have enabled the development and protection of the Cibus technology.
Nucelis’ first product under development is squalane, a high value, clear oil compound used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and for specialty lubricants, now mainly harvested from shark livers or as a by-product of olive oil processing. Nucelis has patented a process to develop reliable quantities of squalane using a novel, sustainable, non-GM yeast fermentation process. This will remove concern over the impact on shark populations and unpredictability of annual olive oil processing volumes as olive is the only non-shark source of squalene, the immediate chemical precursor of squalane. Using the same yeast production platform, Nucelis is also developing a non-animal source of Vitamin D2 for persons who prefer a non-animal derived source of Vitamin D supplements.