Monsanto to fund gene editing company Pairwise Plants to develop new crop varieties

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Monsanto Co. will fund a new U.S. company that aims to develop crops using technology known as gene editing, rather than the genetic modification that helped it become the world’s biggest seed seller.

Monsanto’s vice president of global biotechnology, Tom Adams, will leave the seed giant to become chief executive of the new firm, called Pairwise Plants, the companies told Reuters. He steps into the new role on April 1.

Monsanto Growth Ventures, along with Deerfield Management, … announced the it had led a $25 million financing for San Diego-based Pairwise.

The collaboration accelerates a race among agricultural scientists and companies worldwide to develop new seeds for crops using gene editing, a process they say can produce non-GMO farm products that do not contain foreign DNA from a different species.

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Unlike traditional GMOs, in which a gene is added from another organism, gene-editing works like the find-and-replace function on a word processor. It finds a gene and then makes changes by amending or deleting it.

Using “molecular scissors” to cut DNA means scientists can edit genomes more precisely and rapidly than ever before, and altered agricultural products could get to market more quickly and cheaply.

Read full, original post: Monsanto backs new company focused on gene editing, not GMOs

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